Board welcomes Roper

By Thomas Wilson

   The Elizabethton Board of Education welcomed Dr. David Roper, the city school system's new superintendent, to his first meeting Thursday night.
   "I am glad to be here. I look forward to a long time with Elizabethton City Schools," Roper told the board.
   Roper's first day on the job was Monday. The board secured Roper with the Superintendent Search Services of the Tennessee School Boards Association.
   Roper was selected and a contract agreed upon less than six months after former director Dr. Judy Blevins resigned her office to become director of the Campbell County school system.
   School Board Chairman Dr. Bob Sams also praised the performance of interim director Richard Culver who was coaxed out of retirement after Blevins stepped down. Sams said due to avoid retirement conflict, Culver worked without pay in the last six weeks of his interim position.
   The board also voted 5-0 to approve audits of the schools activities fund and of the Board of Education for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.
   The board also approved several bids and purchase requests for projects around the system.
   Robert Orr/Sysco of Chattanooga was selected by the board to fund school meals through the remainder of the school year. Sysco's bid of $166,123 to provide food and cleaning products to the ECS Child Nurtrion Department won over a bid of $177,548 submitted by PFG Hale of Morristown. The accepted bid grants Sysco supplier status from Feb. 1 to July 31, 2004.
   Board members approved a proposal to resurface the tennis courts at West Side Elementary. The school received a $5,000 grant from the U.S. Tennis Association to fund the project. Competition Athletic Surfaces, Inc. was selected with a bid of $5,500. The West Side Parent Teacher Association was scheduled to pay the additional $500 for the project.
   The board also approved the purchase of computer equipment from Apple Computer, Inc. for Harold McCormick Elementary. The $12,980 purchase was funded with $5,000 from Title I equipment funds and $7,980 earmarked from donations of the school's PTA Committee.