School Board already seeing investment gains after budget switch

by Nov 6, 2019NEWS ka-no-he-da





The Monday, Nov. 4 meeting of the Cherokee Central Schools (CCS) Board of Education was called to order at 4:45 pm with Chairperson Jennifer Thompson; Secretary Tara Reed-Cooper; Board members Gloria Griffin, Karen French-Browning, and Regina Ledford-Rosario; School Board Assistant Sunnie Clapsaddle; HR Director Heather Driver; CCS Finance Director Howard Wahnetah; Superintendent Dr. Michael Murray; and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Beverly Payne; and Tribal Council representative Chelsea Saunooke present. Vice-Chair Isaac Long was absent due to a family matter.

Rep. Saunooke led a prayer, and the minutes from the Oct. 21 meeting were approved.

The first order of business was an update from the EBCI Investment Committee. In June, the School Board put into play a resolution from 2017 that stated that the reserve account of CCS would be placed under the authority of the Investment Committee. Previously, the account was under the Cherokee Boys Club, and the large sum was in a bank account accruing very little additional return.

The visiting Committee handed out their official report, showing that there has been a $108,159.07 total gain since the money was invested on Sept. 19. The sum has now risen to $13,113,298.76. Polly Kelley, the chairperson of the Committee, walked the Board through the breakdown. She explained that the account is being managed by USI Advisors and that they are using a conservative investment approach. The idea is to limit possible loss. Given the necessary security of being a school’s fund and size of the account, limited growth while maintaining minimal risk is the approach the Investment Committee has decided to take.

The Board also decided that it would be meeting with the Investment Committee once per quarter, starting the cycle with a meeting at their second session in January.

The other guest that came to meet with the Board was Yona Wade to provide an update of the CCS expansion project. He reported that the search for a primary contracted had previously been narrowed to two and that they were prepared to begin contract negotiations providing permission from the Board. The School Board unanimously accepted this.

Following Wade’s visit, the Board moved on to the consent agenda. There were ten resolutions on the docket, all of which were quickly approached. They enacted the following:

  • Robert Booth approved as a substitute teacher for Cherokee Elementary School (CES).
  • Malia Crowe approved as an online ed/career development facilitator for Cherokee High School (CHS)
  • Jerron Bradley approved as a varsity wrestling assistant coach for CHS.
  • Kayla Smith approved as a JV girls’ basketball assistant coach for CHS.
  • Joe Lambert approved as a wrestling head coach for Cherokee Middle School (CMS)
  • Rebecca Woodard approved as a speech language pathologist for CCS.
  • Julie Townsend approved as a substitute teacher for CMS.
  • Robert Harris approved as a substitute teacher for CMS.
  • Rebecca Drywater approved as a cultural teacher assistant for CMS.
  • Lori Reed approved for an increase to level 5 for the school year 2019/2020.

The Board also had to vote on an amendment to a previously passed resolution, 20-077. When it was initially passed, there was an oversight, and it shares the same number as another item. Again, the Board quickly moved to fix the mistake, and now the resolution for Policy 7500 Workday has been adjusted to 20-085.

The session continued with the Board approved a new position for a permanent special education substitute teacher.

The last subject that was voted on had to do with holiday schedules for November and December. After some discussion, it was decided that CCS would match the administrative leave of the Tribal Employees. This will provide additional paid days off on Nov. 27; and Dec. 23, 27, and 31.

The Cherokee One Feather will not be able to attend the next meeting of the CCS Board of Education, as it is being held in Greensboro. That meeting will be on Monday, Nov. 18.