By Taelor Rye
Dodge County School Superintendent Mike Hilliard participated in his first Dodge County Board of Education meeting in his new position on July 14, overseeing the approval of a slew of requests for the schools in the district.
Because the Dodge Pre-K salary schedule is different than the board’s typical salary schedule for classified employees, former superintendent Dr. Melinda Dennis requested a waiver from the state to adopt the Dodge County paraprofessional salary schedule for Dodge Pre-K.
Susan Adams, assistant commissioner of Georgia’s Pre-K Program and Instructional Supports, returned correspondence granting an approval of Dennis’s request, which the board moved to adopt, streamlining the pre-k’s salary schedule with the K-12 salary schedule across the county.
The county’s personnel salary schedule is based on the State of Georgia’s salary schedule, which was not by necessity, as the county’s strategic waiver system allows the county to set its own salary schedule. Still, the board moved to adopt the state’s schedule.
In addition, certified personnel will receive a one-year reimbursement of austerity money taken by the state for about 12 years, according to Hilliard. The board moved to multiply each employee’s supplement, which is three percent of his or her current salary, by 1.5, adding that supplement to employees’ November paychecks.
Simply, a hypothetical employee who makes $3,000.00 would receive a bonus of $900.00 from the state. Multiplying $900.00 by 1.5 yields $1,350.00, which is the total supplement that the employee would receive.
Developed with Dr. Melinda Dennis and Wendy Dennis, the supplement is “probably the most generous package that we’ve seen in the RESA area,” Hilliard stated.
Hilliard proposed allowing Misty Selph to become the new plan manager for benefits and payroll. Upon board member Robert Peacock’s recommendation, Hilliard amended his recommendation to include himself in the event that Selph is unavailable to perform an associated task. The board approved the motion.
Currently, the board has had multiple renovation and construction projects in place.
According to Dodge County Schools Maintenance Director Jack Taylor, projects at the elementary schools will not be completely finished by teachers’ August 2 return date, but he stated, “We’ll have the building ready so we can have class.”
Additionally, Taylor stated that Dodge County Middle School’s (DCMS) softball and baseball field will be ready in time for baseball season in the spring. Work to be done includes putting up the fence, connecting power to the new building and adding sod and sprinklers.
The board approved bids for seven-foot fences in front of the home and away dugouts for the Dodge County High School (DCHS) baseball and softball fields. The price of the fences for the baseball field is $2,700.00 paid to R and D Designs; Jody Batts Fencing’s competing bid was $3,400.00.
However, Jody Batts Fencing’s approved bid for the softball field fences, $550.00, was lower than R and D Design’s bid, which was $1,288.00.
The board also approved a reimbursement request from athletic director Rex Hodges for field leveling services at the price of $3,842.17.
Concerning floor replacement for the board office’s lobby and kitchen, the board voted to go with Floor Gallery, whose $4,179.00 bid was lower than Daniel Thompson’s bid of $4,660.00.
Dodge County Board of Education Transportation Director Bodie Gray recommended that the board go through with the sale of two buses that have “been causing trouble ever since they’ve been there.”
Gray detailed the numerous expenses that the buses have cost the district over the years, stating that the board should sell those two buses to offset the purchase of a 72-passenger bus. The board accepted his recommendations.
The board voted to renew its subscriptions to SharpSchool, which hosts the district’s websites, and VMWare, which is software that controls the district’s servers, for the upcoming school year.
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