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Dandridge, Tennessee

May 16, 2011

Jefferson County Recruit Fire Academy
Graduation Night

The Jefferson County Recruit Fire Academy held their Class of 2011 graduation on May 12, 2011, at Carson Newman College. The Academy started several months ago with 24 recruits and graduated 20 men and women on Thursday. MFF Jim Baldwin, JCRFA Coordinator, was pleased with the number that made it through the intense program. He had expected a greater wash out rate, but these recruits were dedicated to completing the program. The JCRFA provides training for all the county fire departments, as well as others outside the county. This class had recruits from Dandridge,

New Market, Chestnut Hill, White Pine, Cosby and Jefferson City. The recruits spend more than 251 hours of training, which cumulates in a 22 hour live burn situation. The live burn occurs over a three day period and is a test of the recruits strength and knowledge. MFF Baldwin says that this group is one of the best classes that has come through the JCRFA. Baldwin stated that there were no whiners or quitters in the graduating class.

The ceremony on Thursday marked the end of a long and vigorous training period for the recruits. Their efforts were rewarded as they

received certificates of graduation from Jefferson City Fire Chief Robert Turner, Jr. MFF Eric Fortner introduced the speaker, Chief Greg Miller, from the Gatlinburg Fire Department. Chief Miller gave the class address for the event. Awards were presented by MFF Baldwin, MFF Fortner and Lt. Scott Maples. Recruit Wayne Holt received the Leadership Award. Recruit Brian Newell was honored with the Academic Award. The Iron Lung Award and the 110% Award were both bestowed on Recruit Adam Landry. Seven recruits had perfect attendance during the course of the academy. Recruits Cameron, Costner, A. Landry, M. Landry, McCoy, Myers and Newell were all recognized for perfect attendance. FF Jeremy Shope also presented the recruits with certificates.

Recruit Captain Jonathan Morgan offered the prayer for the ceremony and Katrina Baldwin gave a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.

Class Battalion Chief Wayne Holt addressed his fellow recruits during the graduation program. A reception was held in honor of the recruits. Food was prepared by Katrina Baldwin.  

The JCRFA will now return to their various communities to continue the work of service and excellence in job performance that is the mark of a Firefighter.

Jefferson County Board of School Commissioners

held their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, May 12,2011, at the Jefferson County High School Media Center. The meeting was called to order by School Board Chairman Potts. 

Board Member Loy was not present.

Special recognition was given to middle and high school Directorís Art Gallery winners. Both students were present and showed their winning art entries. ( winners listed in community in the news section)

Parker Susong was recognized as a student representative to the board. Susong is a graduating senior.

The Agenda and Consent Agenda were unanimously approved.

There were no teachers, students or citizens requesting to speak before the School Board.

Under Items For Information Director of School Charles Edmonds presented the first draft of the 2011-2012 school budget. He informed the board that the increase that is proposed includes the state raise, as well as a increase in gasoline and maintenance. Edmonds stated that he recatorgized several item that included salaries, so some of the numbers would look like more of an increase actually exists. The final budget is not complete and no revenues have been figured into the tally. The School Board will have to meet again before the county budget committee addresses the school budget. 

Edmonds told the Board that the $105,000 that is needed to repair portables and add a canopy cannot come out of present funds. In a previous meeting, Edmonds had stated that he felt that he could cover the cost of the repairs and canopy from a variety of sources, including the maintenance budget. He informed the board that this was no longer an option and the funds would need to come from the fund balance. The motion to take the $105,000 from the fund balance was made by Board Member Phagan and 2nd by Board Member Vines. The motion passed unanimously. Edmonds was given a $10k salary increase. (Bradley - no)

Board Member Bradley asked if anything in the current budget was previously covered by stimulus money. He was informed ,by central office staff ,that stimulus money was used for items that were non reoccurring or short term. According to Mandy Schniteman, central office staff, the alternate school principal can no longer be funded by stimulus money. Also, according to Edmonds, the Attendance line in the budget is larger because Schniteman will be funded through the attendance budget. There have been increases in several budget areas. Bradley questioned if anyone knew how many cents on the tax dollar that the board would be requesting with the new budget. Edmonds stated that, at this stage, they can not commit to a number.

Jefferson County Finance Director Helton stated that the revenue side of

the budget is not complete because he is still waiting for Aprilís numbers. He said that March sales tax numbers were up slightly. Helton also reminded the board that any dip into fund balance would require a vote from the county commission. Fund Balance is traditionally used for capitol expenditures and it is not good management to take from the fund balance. According to Helton, the school system has a healthy fund balance.

The school system is still waiting for information on health insurance increases that may be instigated. Deputy Director of Finance , Kathy Smelcer, said that there may be a reprieve on health insurance increases, however nothing is definite yet.

Chairman Potts requested a breakdown of every budget category and a comparison to last years budget.

The Board unanimously voted to approve Summer School, though no firm information is available yet. A class fee for Science and Research Design and AP Chemistry was unanimously approved.

A list of teachers were approved for tenure. Director Edmonds made note that this would be the last group of teachers approved for tenure under the previous guidelines.

Board Member Solomon requested that improvements be made to the JCHS softball field. Edmonds stated that the requested improvements were already being addressed.

In Unfinished Business, the architect for the new Freshman Academy and renovations to JCHS gave an update on design plans. Only minor modifications were made to accommodate special needs students and safety concerns. The architect firm has set a July 1 deadline for final drawing documents.

Dr. William Clampitt, a private citizen, had offered to assist the School Board with salary adjustments for teachers. He presented his proposal to the Board. The goal of the proposal is to make Jefferson County competitive with surrounding counties. Clampitt proposed a salary increase scale that would award different levels of increase in compensation, depending on year in service and education. The entire system is based upon a 1.6% state increase in salary per year. Clampitt proposed that in five years Jefferson County would catch up with other counties, if surrounding counties remain at their current funding level. Chairman Potts requested that board Member Phagan investigate other raise proposals and report back to the board.

The Board agreed to meet on Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 5pm at the JCHS Media Center.  The meeting Adjourned.

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May 16, 2011 Go To Page

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