by Danny Wade
After having the same Humboldt School Board chairman for the past two years, a new chairman was voted in last Thursday night. Not necessarily new, but instead, a past chairman was elect to the position again.
Phillip Hardee will once again lead the school board meetings after being elected. Terry Johnson had held the seat the past two years. Prior to Johnson’s tenure, Hardee was chairman in 2013 and again in 2014.
The first order of business at the January 12 board meeting was to elect a chairman, a vice chairman and a TLN representative.
Johnson opened the floor for chairman nominations.
Lee Williams noted there were only two people on the board who know how to follow Roberts Rules of Order. He then said he would select one of them and nominated Chuck Samples.
Samples in turn nominated Williams for board chairman.
Johnson nominated Hardee.
With no other nominations made, Johnson then asked who wanted to vote for Williams. Williams was confused, if they were actually voting on him as the first nominee or if it was a vote on who each member wanted as chairman.
After fumbling through the first attempt to hold an election on the nominees, under direction from some in the audience, Johnson called for a vote on each nominee.
Williams’ nomination fell short with Johnson, Hardee and Leon McNeal voting nay. Sample’s nomination also was declined with the exact same results. Hardee was then elected chairman by a vote of 3-2.
Phillip Hardee was elected to serve as school board chairman in 2017 by a split 3-2 vote. Hardee previously served as chairman in 2013 and 2014.
Next, Johnson passed the gavel to Hardee to lead the remainder of the meeting as the new chairman.
Hardee then asked for vice chairman nominations and immediately nominated Johnson.
Williams commented it seemed as if the election had already been determined. He then nominated Samples for vice chairman. Samples returned the favor and nominated Williams.
Hardee called for a vote for Johnson as the first nominee. The vote was split 3-2 just as the chairman’s election with Williams and Samples voting against Johnson as chair while McNeal, Hardee and Johnson voted in favor. With the majority vote for Johnson, he was approved as vice chairman and no votes were held on the other two nominations.
The final election was the TLN (Tennessee Legislative Network) representative. McNeal nominated Lee Williams for the position. No others were nominated and Williams received a unanimous vote as TLN representative.
It is the duty of the TLN representative to work with Tennessee School Boards Association and to keep the board informed on state legislation being considered or that passed in Nashville that affects education.
After elections were complete, a brief agenda moved along rather quickly.
The board unanimously approved the 2017 school board meeting dates. They are January 12, February 9, March 9, April 6, May 18, June 8, July 6, August 10, September 7, October 12, November 9 and December 7.
School board policy state regular meetings of the board shall be held on the first Thursday of each month if it falls after the fifth day of the month. All 2017 dates fit that stipulation except for May. The May meeting is always moved forward one week due to the Strawberry Festival.
Next the board approved the second reading on seven board policy updates and held the first reading on three others.
During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Versie Hamlett said today (last Thursday) report cards went out and it was also parent/teacher conference day.
Dr. Hamlett also praised the Humboldt Vikings basketball team and coach Ron Abernathy for the team boasting a 16-1 record.
Next Dr. Hamlett announced it was School Board Appreciation month. Each board member had a Viking license plate at their seats as they arrived to the meeting. Dr. Hamlett said these were a gift from Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes. She noted the number 172 on the license plate and said that is the number of miles to Murfreesboro where the state tournament is held.
Stigall principal Richard Willis and East principal Charlotte Shivley presented gifts to each of the board members on behalf of their school and students. HJSHS assistant principal Victoria Perry invited all the board members to an upcoming high school basketball game where they will be recognized.