By JONAH LOSSIAH
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Monday, Feb. 3 meeting of the Cherokee Central Schools (CCS) Board of Education was called to order at 4:45 p.m. with Chairperson Jennifer Thompson; Vice Chair Isaac Long; Secretary Tara Reed-Cooper; Board members Karen French-Browning, and Regina Ledford Rosario; School Board Assistant Sunnie Clapsaddle; HR Director Heather Driver; Superintendent Dr. Michael Murray; Assistant Superintendent Dr. Beverly Payne; and Tribal Council (Wolftown) representative Chelsea Saunooke present. Board member Gloria Griffin was absent due to illness.
Wolftown Rep. Chelsea Saunooke led a prayer, and the minutes for the Jan, 21 meeting were approved.
There was a lengthy consent agenda, though there were only a couple of questions and none of the resolutions were pulled.
French-Browning questioned why there were so many volunteers for softball and not for baseball. CCS Athletic Director Sean Ross told the Board that they were still finalizing some aspects of the baseball team, and therefore were not ready to submit names for resolutions.
French-Browning then asked Ross why two of the four softball volunteers were male, and if there was a need for them.
Ross said that when selecting coaches, they focus on their skill set and ability to benefit the team, and not their gender. He said he was happy that there were so many volunteers available to support the team.
Following these discussions, no amendments were made, and the consent agenda passed unanimously. It approved the following items:
- Robbi Pounds approved as an English Teacher for Cherokee High School (CHS).
- Seth Barnes approved as an Alternative Classroom Teacher Assistant for CHS.
- Joseph Smith approved as a full-time Custodian for CCS.
- Moriah Chavis approved as a Media Coordinator for Cherokee Elementary School.
- Lamar Wildcatt approved as a Volunteer for the Varsity Softball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Callie Allison approved as a Volunteer for the Varsity Softball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Craig Barker approved as a Volunteer for the Varsity Softball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Shelby Parker approved as a Volunteer for the Varsity Softball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Tina Swimmer approved as a Volunteer for the Middle School Softball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Brooke Coggins approved as a Volunteer for the Middle School Softball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Carrah Swimmer approved as a Volunteer for the Middle School Softball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Gary Maney approved as a Volunteer for the Middle School Baseball Program for the 2019/2020 season.
- Langston Wood approved as a Track and Field Assistant Coach for the 2019/2020 season.
- Mike Winchester approved as a Track and Field Assistant Coach for the 2019/2020 season.
- The CHS CAC students approved to travel to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji in summer of 2022.
- The CHS Travel Club approved to travel to London, Paris, and Barcelona in the summer of 2022.
- The CHS Spanish classes approved to travel to Brazil and Argentina in the summer of 2021.
- Roberta Sneed approved as a School Nurse for Cherokee Middle School.
The primary reason that Ross was invited to the meeting was to discuss the CCS Recognition Committee. Last meeting, the School Board decided it was time to reestablish the Recognition Committee, as many of the assigned members had retired from their positions and were not in constant connection with the school anymore. They had placed Ross in charge of reviewing the policies and handling the committee moving forward.
Ross said that he was fine with the current recognition standards, though he did raise the question of the size of the committee. He asked what they thought was an appropriate number of members for the group.
After a brief discussion, it was decided that Ross would return with a finalized proposition for the March 2 meeting.
Next, Reed-Cooper had two issues she wished to bring forward with the Board and Ross.
She had received a complaint from a community member regarding a tribute to recently deceased basketball legend Kobe Bryant. Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26 that killed all nine people aboard, which also included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
The world has since been mourning the passing of those passengers, and some at CCS wished to put up a tribute poster in honor of Bryant in the gym.
According to Reed-Cooper, the complaint came asking why the tribute was in the gym and why it was raised by Ray Kinsland’s name in the gym.
Superintendent Murray and Ross both said that appropriate actions were taken to allow the poster to be put up in the gym, and that the placement of the tribute was not to compare or lessen the impact of any other.
Before Reed-Cooper addressed the second issue, the School Board went into a closed session to discuss ‘personnel issues’. They were in closed for 40 minutes and Chairperson Thompson said there was nothing to report from their discussion.
There was one walk-in resolution, which would approve Doug Reed as a varsity assistant baseball coach. This was voted through 4-0, with Reed-Cooper abstaining from the vote.
The School Board then turned its attention to new business.
The first decision was to approve new substitute nurse positions. HR Director Heather Driver offered the job description to the Board, and they passed it unanimously.
Superintendent Murray brought forward plans to house the World Changers this July at CCS. He said that Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed came to him last year to consider the opportunity, and they have taken it on. It will be held July 20-25, and they are expecting 232 participants.
The final item on the agenda was to confirm the time of the annual joint School Board meeting with the Swain County Board of Education. They will be meeting at Swain County High School on Tuesday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m.
The next meeting of the Cherokee Board of Education will be on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 4:45 p.m. They are not meeting on Monday due to President’s day.