School board, commissioners meet

By Kitsey Burns Harrison -

EAST BEND — The Yadkin County School Board and Board of Commissioners held a joint meeting on Monday at Forbush High School.

In her report to the boards, County Manager Lisa Hughes introduced Tom Sarratt to the school board. Sarratt is the new county finance officer.

She also reported on the East Bend waterline project as well as recently introduced legislation that may have an effect on property tax exemptions.

Yadkin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin gave a report to both boards as well. He noted the completion of lighting updates at the county schools to more energy efficient LED lights. Martin said it would likely take a full year to see the savings, but that information was being tracked.

Martin also reported on an issue regarding state-funded performance-based bonuses for third-grade teachers. Several county teachers were eligible for those bonuses, however some teachers were made illegible due to a clause that the teachers must still be teaching third grade. Several teachers were moved over the summer to other classes, therefore making them ineligible to receive the bonus they earned the previous school year. Martin said he hoped to pursue this issue with the state legislature.

An issue with mobile units at Yadkinville Elementary School also was discussed. The school board was asked to move the mobile unit by Nov. 1, 2016, as the town’s zoning ordinance only allows mobile units in certain areas. At the school’s request, the removal date was moved to 2017.

Martin said two of the units housing the technology team and equipment storage could be moved, but moving the others would be more challenging as that space is needed on the property. Martin said he would be reaching out to the school’s attorney and have him reach out to the town to continue discussing the matter.

“We have a lot of needs we’re trying to meet, all of us together. A little cooperation would be good,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Kevin Austin.

In his report, Martin also noted the continuing success of the Lego Robotics program. He noted that county winner, Forbush Elementary School, went on to regional and state competitions, finishing third in the state in the robot performance category out of 120 teams.

“Their team is fantastic. That robot can do amazing things,” Martin said. He praised the other local teams as well and said he expected the program to continue to grow.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

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