At the monthly Henry County School Board, Ben Gravely raised the idea of adding a student member to the board.
“I’d just like to get that on the record to get some thoughts on what you guys think in terms of starting a student board member,” said Gravely, of the Iriswood District.
The idea was met with agreement and nods from many of the other board members.
Reed Creek District board member Teddy Martin was especially interested in the idea. Having been a speaker for student board members from all over Virginia in the past, “I was fascinated,” he said.
“Also, the diversity in them from districts of a thousand students to Fairfax’s representatives, and all the students they represent. It’s so impressive when you see our students from across the Commonwealth and what they know and understand and I think it’s more than people stop and think,” Martin said.
“We’re talking about developing future leaders. That’s what we’re all about,” Gravely said.
Schools Superintendent Sandy Strayer said administrative staff “will look into the student board member and the regulations and we’ll come back and present something next month at the meeting about what we discussed.”
The Sept. 1 meeting also marked the first meeting of interim Ridgeway District member Sidney McClure. “I just want to take the opportunity to say thank you for this opportunity on the board. It’s much appreciated and I look forward to my serving and working with all of you guys,” he said.
In other matters, the board:
* Proclaimed Sept. 19 – Sept. 22 as Adult Education and Family Literacy week in the school system.
* Recognized the national celebration of Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage month.
* Approved the agendas for all August meetings, including the interim position interviews and public hearing.
* Paid the bills.
* Approved a contract for painting services to Dale Harrison Painting from Rocky Mount, Virginia, Dynamik Construction from Richmond, Virginia, MGM Painting from Martinsville, Virginia, and Oakley Painting from Martinsville, Virginia. The contract agreement is not to exceed $100,000 annually without permission from the board.
* Approved paying half of the $74,550 required for the Comprehensive Classification and Compensation Study and related services to Evergreen Solutions. This study will serve as a measure of the recruitment, policies, pay, and more of Henry County Public Schools, along with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Henry County PSA, and the County of Henry. The other half of the cost will be borne by Henry County.
* Watched a video of the Superintendent’s reports and highlights of the month, including a slideshow of most of the Kindergarteners in the county, the “Class of 2035.”
* Change the time of the Nov. 3 meeting from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The board discussed scheduling more meetings for 6 p.m. to allow more community members to attend and facilitate the participation of a possible future student board member.