Joint school board meeting to be held on March 4 with Swain Co.

by Feb 7, 2024NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


One Feather Reporter


CHEROKEE, N.C. – The School Board of Cherokee Central Schools met on Monday, Feb. 5, in the Central Office Board Room of Cherokee Central Schools (CCS).

Those present at the meeting included Jennifer Thompson, chairperson; Tara Reed-Cooper, co-vice-chairperson and Big-Y rep.; Micah Swimmer, Painttown rep.; Kristina Hyatt, Big Cove rep.; Melanie Lambert, co-vice chairperson and Birdtown rep.; Roberta Toineeta, Wolftown rep.; Dike Sneed, Tribal Council alternate rep.; Consuela Girty, CCS superintendent; Dr. Jo Ray, CCS director of human resources; and Diane Driver, executive administrative assistant. Dr. Beverly Payne, assistant superintendent, was absent.

The meeting was called to order at 3:31 p.m. At 3:32 p.m., Reed-Cooper made a motion to enter closed session with attorney Ashley Leonard on call. Toineeta seconded the motion. Reed-Cooper made a motion to exit closed session at 4:45 p.m. Lambert seconded the motion.

The opening prayer was led by Micah Swimmer. The minutes from the Jan. 17 meeting were approved unanimously. The agenda was approved as amended, adding Resolution 24-115.

In good news, Reed-Cooper expressed her appreciation to CCS administration for working with Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority staff to meet the needs of CCS students and staff. Thompson applauded Girty for her exemplary efforts in her position as superintendent. Driver shared that in honor of School Board Appreciation Month, which was in January, Cherokee High School (CHS) staff prepared dinner for the board members on Feb. 5, as they wanted to show appreciation at the last meeting, but could not due to inclement weather. The staff also provided each school board member with a gift bag. Each member also received appreciation gifts from the Career and Technical Education/Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics department and the central office staff. Toineeta gave a shoutout to Driver for her hard work in preparing for the board meetings.

The consent agenda was approved unanimously with a motion by Reed-Cooper seconded by Lambert. The following resolutions were approved from the consent agenda:

24-109: Katie Barrett is approved as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Cherokee Central Schools.

24-110: Kaci Chapman is approved as a Speech Language Pathologist for the Cherokee Central Schools.

24-111: Carole Cope is approved as a Substitute Teacher for the Cherokee Elementary School.

24-112: Edward Obuchowski is approved as a Custodial Supervisor.

24-113: Ryan Ferguson is approved as a Volunteer for Lacrosse.

24-114: Tori Teesateskie is approved as a Permanent Substitute Teacher for the Cherokee High School.

24-115: Garrett Pearson is approved as a Teacher for the Cherokee Elementary School.

Swimmer asked for updates on the field lights as soccer season is approaching. Girty said she would ask Attorney General Michael McConnell to review their contract with Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). Sneed said he is in communication with GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash to have lights available for soccer, cross country, softball, and baseball.

Swimmer also asked if Cherokee High School (CHS) students were required to learn how to type. Girty said she would find out more information.

Toineeta asked if CHS students were allowed to check themselves out of school. Thompson said that question will need to be raised again with a lawyer present.

A joint school board meeting will be held with Swain County School Board on March 4, the time and location to be determined.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the Central Office Board Room. Thompson will be unable to attend the next meeting as she will be at the Consortium of State School Board Associations (COSSBA) Conference in Dallas, Texas. Reed-Cooper will lead the meeting on Feb. 20.