Contract for County Schools Superintendent, Dallas Williams, extended for two more years

By Lesley Jenkins
Star Staff
ljenkins@starhq.com

  
Carter County School Board members are so pleased with the work of Director of Schools Dallas Williams, they made a motion and unanimously voted on Thursday to extend his contract for another two years. Board members filled out evaluation forms for Williams and turned them into Chairman Richard Winters before Thursday's meeting.
   After Winters reviewed the evaluations, he told the board that they were all favorable, and the board decided to thank Williams for all his hard work by extending his contract. Member Steve Chambers said, "It is an asset to the school's department that we have a man available like him (Williams). He has done a good job."
   Williams replied that his job is not a one-man job. "Our staff is very competent. I couldn't do it without them." He said later that he was pleased with the contract extension and is looking forward to the challenge.
   In other business, Meredith Trott, vocational director, reported that Hunter Elementary School received Community Prevention Initiative from the Department of Health for $148,324. The grant will provide for an after school program at Hunter Elementary for at-risk youth ages 4-10 and their parents. Trott said, "The name of the project is 'Project Boomerang.' We are going to turn risk into opportunity."
   Students will qualify for the program if they have poor academic performance, behavior problems or lack of parental involvement. The program will involve the parents or guardian of the children also. Training classes will help parents become more involved in their child's academic performance. Principal Paul Gouge and Assistant Principal Judy Robertson gathered the data required to receive the grant.
   Board member Bob McClain reported to the board that Hampton High School is having serious problems finding adequate classroom space. The school has an added enrollment from last year of 25 students. Though that doesn't seem like a large amount, the school also moved to a six-period day from four periods. This created the need for more rooms and more space in already existing classrooms.
   McClain said a locker room and the gymnasium are being used for extra classrooms. Board members agreed that something needs to be done to rectify the problem. A possible short term solution would be to purchase a modular home and convert it into two classrooms. However, the board didn't approve of the idea because a short term solution would not permanently correct the problem, especially since 76 seniors will be graduating and 123 freshmen will enroll in the school in 2004.
   An extra 50 students next year would make overcrowding worse. Winters formed a committee with McClain as chairman to consider long term solutions, and, when several have been formed, the committee will schedule an emergency meeting with the board. McClain's goal is to have a solution before next month's normally scheduled board meeting.
   Trott also said that the Tennessee Valley Authority has set up an external lab available to Happy Valley High School students. Students taking drafting class can be interviewed by the TVA for a possible job.
   The TVA will hold open house on Sept. 16. However, an exact time has not been set.