CCS School Board Holds June 18 Meeting

by Jul 8, 2024NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


One Feather Intern Reporter


CHEROKEE, N.C.- The School Board of Cherokee Central Schools met on June 18 in the Central Office Board Room. The meeting was called to order at 4:46 pm by Chairperson Jennifer Thompson.

Members and staff present included Jennifer Thompson, chairperson and Elawodi (Yellowhill) rep.; Tara Reed-Cooper, co-vice chairperson and Widagalinidisgv (Big Y) rep.; Micah Swimmer, Aniwodihi (Painttown) rep.; Kristina Hyatt, Kolanvyi (Big Cove) rep.; Melanie Lambert, co-vice chairperson and Tsisgwohi (Birdtown) rep.; Roberta Toineeta, Wayohi (Wolftown) rep.;Consuela Girty, superintendent; Diane Driver, executive administrative assistant; and Michael Stamper, Dinilawgi (Tribal Council) representative, Ashley Leonard, attorney, Dr. Beverley Payne, Associate Superintendent, and Jo Ray, Human Resources Director.

Hyatt led the opening prayer. Reed-Cooper motioned to approve the minutes from the June 3 meeting, seconded by Lambert and unanimously approved by the board, excluding Stamper who was not yet present.

The agenda was amended to include additional resolutions and motioned for approval by Reed-Cooper and seconded by Lambert, all voted in favor aside from Stamper who had not yet arrived.

Howard Wahnetah, CCS finance director, made the financial report for the school board and the athletics department. Wahnetah informed the school board that they were in good financial condition for the year. Regarding athletics, Wahnetah told the board that Athletics Director Chase Sneed revised his budget to rectify overages. Wahnetah said the overages were mainly due to increased transportation costs from this year’s high-performing athletics teams. Other costs came from facilities and equipment upgrades.

Rhonica Via, Cherokee Boys Club finance director, gave her report saying that all departments are within the 92 percent target range, excluding the performing arts center.

The board voted to adopt a new 11-month pay scale to correct discrepancies caused by the previous 10-month pay scale. “The original pay scale was not created for instructional positions but has since been used for some. Due to that initial creation, it caused a discrepancy in pay for individuals moving from a 10-month position to an 11-month position with the same credentials. Therefore, it had to be adjusted, which meant previous positions that had recently been approved at a different rate of pay needed to be approved for their adjustment. This meant an increase in the original approved pay,” Girty said.

For good news, Girty reported that an excellent in-house administration retreat with training and team-building activities took place the previous week. Reed-Cooper said the board received good feedback about the Cultural summer school and STEM camp. Chairperson Thompson said she would like to see more programs like it.

Discussion moved on to the consent agenda which focused on employment actions. The consent agenda was amended for resolutions that were administratively pulled or held for discussion in a closed session.

The Administration pulled the following positions: 24-310 Film Tech, 24-311 Concessions.

Pulled for further discussion: 24-283 Cherokee Central School FT Custodian, 24-306 Varsity Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach, 24-314 Middle School Volleyball Assistant Coach, 24-315 Middle School Soccer Head Coach, 24-316 Middle School Soccer Assistant Coach.

With these amendments, the consent agenda was approved with a motion from Melanie Lambert and a second by Tara Cooper. The amended consent agenda contained the following resolutions naming appointees for these positions: 24-282 Cherokee Elementary School EC Teacher Assistant, 24-284 Cherokee Central School FT Security Associate, 24-285 Dora “Dre” Crowe-Swimmer is approved for an increase to the Level 5 pay scale at her current step effective May 11, 2024 due to obtaining a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, 24-286 Cherokee Central School FT Security Associate, 24-287 Cherokee Central School EL Teacher/Coordinator, 24-288 School EC Teacher Assistant. Fall Sports Coaches for the school year 2024-25 were appointed as follows: 24-289 Women’s Head Golf Coach, 24-290 Women’s Golf Volunteer, 24-291 JV Volleyball Head Coach

To protect confidential personnel information, the School Board has moved to redact names from approved positions on the consent agenda, as the individuals are still onboarding.

The consent agenda included the following: 24-292  JV Volleyball Assistant Coach, 24-293 Varsity Cheerleading Head Coach, 24-294 Varsity Cheerleading Volunteer, 24-295         Varsity Cross Country Head Coach, 24-296   Varsity Cross Country Assistant Coach, 24-297 Varsity Cross Country Assistant Coach, 24-298 Varsity Football Head Coach, 24-299 Varsity Football Assistant Coach (Offensive Coordinator), 24-300 Varsity Football Assistant Coach (Defensive Coordinator), 24-301Varsity Football Assistant Coach, 24-302 Varsity Football Assistant Coach, 24-303 Varsity Football Assistant Coach, 24-304 Varsity Football Assistant Coach, 24-305 Varsity Football Volunteer, 24-306 Varsity Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach, 24-307 Varsity Volleyball Head Coach, 24-308 Varsity Volleyball Assistant Coach, 24-309 Varsity Volleyball Assistant Coach, 24-310 Film Tech, 24-311 Concession, 24-312 Middle School Cross Country Head Coach, 24-313 Middle School Volleyball Head Coach, 24-317 JV Cheerleading Head Coach, 24-318 JV Football Head Coach, 24-319 JV Football Assistant Coach.

Jo Ray, HR director, submitted additional walk-in resolutions. The resolutions, 24-321 regarding the Men’s Basketball Head Coach and 24-322 regarding Middle School Boys Basketball Head Coach were held for further discussion. Tara Reed-Cooper motioned to approve the walk-in resolutions as amended with a second from Melanie Lambert.

Appointees were approved for the following positions: 24-320 Indoor Track & Field Head Coach, 24-323 Middle School Basketball Head Coach, 24-324 Middle School Wrestling Head Coach, 24-325 Middle School Track & Field Head Coach, 24-326 Middle School Baseball Head Coach, 24-327 Varsity Track & Field Head Coach, 24-328 Middle School Wrestling Head Coach, 24-329 Middle School Boys Basketball Head Coach, 24-330 Middle School Girls Basketball Head Coach, 24-331 Varsity Softball Head Coach, 24-332 Varsity Baseball Head Coach, 24-333 Varsity Men’s Golf Head Coach

For new business, the board approved the release of a letter to stakeholders that makes clear policies regarding the use of marijuana for employees and students. The letter sought to address any possible confusion regarding the use of marijuana considering the recent move toward legal recreational use by enrolled members. The board also made minor adjustments to job descriptions and employment policies.

The board then went into an executive session after setting the next meeting for July 15 at 4:45 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room. Meetings of the Cherokee Board of Education are open (except during executive sessions). The public is welcome to attend.