County school board member receives state recognition

By Megan R. Harrell

   A member of the Carter County Board of Education has received state accolades for years of dedicated service. The Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) recognized Jack Pearman as a "Master School Board Member" earlier this week at its annual convention in Nashville.
   Pearman has served on the county school board for 12 years and has devoted a great deal of time to the improvement of education. He is the first Carter County school board member to reach the fifth and highest level in the TSBA Boardsmanship program, which reflects his years of active involvement in the education system.
   "It takes a lot of years to get. You can't just do it in a year or two," Pearman said.
   Over the years, Pearman has earned credits for attending conferences, workshops, and his participation in board activities. The credits earned represent over 200 hours of work beyond involvement at the local board level.
   In order to attain Level Five, Pearman had to satisfy six detailed requirements including tasks such as illustrating active involvement in the adoption of a new policy, and demonstrating leadership in support of public education.
   After completing the six requirements, Pearman had to provide the state with a compilation of his work and activities in the form of an extensive portfolio. A team of Master Board Members from across the state judged the portfolio to determine whether it met Level Five standards.
   Pearman's accomplishment is one few have matched. Currently only 49 of Tennessee's 900 school board members have reached Level Five, yet Pearman remains modest about his accomplishment.
   "I have had a lot of help from colleagues and the central office," Pearman said.
   Pearman, who was a high school principal and the supervisor of a head start program prior to his service on the Carter County Board of Education, was recognized by his colleagues during a called board meeting Thursday evening.
   "Reaching Level Five is a very high and distinct honor. He has worked diligently in the school system for years," School Board Chairman, Richard Winters said. "We all have learned a lot from Mr. Pearman, and not just in the classroom. As a young administrator, I learned a lot from him."
   Although Pearman can no longer earn credits for receiving additional training, he plans to keep broadening his educational horizons. He stated that he will continue to work on education programs and will still attend conferences and clinics dealing with school issues.
   In other business during the meeting, the board passed a resolution to enter into a capital lease with Citizens Bank for an energy management project with Johnson Controls. The school board voted earlier this fall to enter into a performance contract with Johnson Controls in an attempt to save money over a long-term period by becoming a more energy efficient school system.
   The capital lease with Citizens Bank is a three-way agreement between the bank, Carter County Schools, and Johnson Controls. Superintendent of Schools, Dallas Williams recommended the board enter into the agreement with Citizens Bank, citing the fact it is local and offered lower interest rates than Fleet.
   The board also accepted bids for upcoming construction projects. Barnard Roofing Company from Gray got the nod from the school board to begin repairing an old section of roof at Happy Valley Elementary School.
   A bid was also approved for correcting an ongoing drainage problem in the parking lot of the school. Durango had the lowest bid for placing new fencing down the baselines and around the backstop at the Unaka High School baseball field.