BONIFAY - Some residents were back in front of the Holmes County School Board when they met in regular session last week seeking answers they say they still have not received.
Resident Veronica Williams spoke, stating she and several others addressed the board during the June 17 meeting and asked specific questions, to which they have not yet received answers, including if certification of administration a concern of the school board, alleging Superintendent of Schools Eddie Dixon falsified records concerning his years of being principal at Holmes County High School.
Williams also Dixon strategically posted jobs to ensure "who he wanted was hired" and that teachers were posting comments on social media sites indicating job decisions before they are voted on.
She also demanded to know how was Edgenuity software was chosen as the delivery method for online students in the county, as opposed to using Florida Virtual School, pointing out Dixon's former boss, Janis Williams, was the sales representative for Edgenuity. Williams then requested the school board provide an assessment of the Edgenuity program in writing concerning the procedure, validity, and performance of the students using the software, stating she also stating she was concerned with the estimated amount it would take to get all the documentation related to the questions provided, which was estimated to be $4,200.
Dixon responded by assuring Williams his actions were transparent
"Me, as a superintendent, and us, as a board, our first concern is what is right for our children," said Dixon. "The choices I make every day affect children and I take those decisions to heart. I will continue to work for the betterment of the children."
In other action, board members approved opening a position for a Spanish teacher, whose time will be split equally between Ponce de Leon High School, Bethlehem High School, and Poplar Springs High School. The motion carried with a vote of three to one, with Board member Debbie Kolmetz voting "no" and board member Jason Motley being absent.
"Cost is not the only consideration in making this decision; however, the least we will save is $8,210.75, and the most is $27,760.75," said Superintendent Dixon. "The students at Ponce de Leon, Bethlehem, and Poplar Springs deserve to have a Spanish teacher like those at Holmes County High School if it is possible. Florida Virtual School was never intended to replace the face-to-face teachers in Florida; it was originally started to help students with unique needs and smaller schools fill gaps in instruction due to limited personnel and scheduling issues."
Kolmetz repeatedly and adamantly voiced her opposition to hiring a Spanish teacher.
"I don't think we should have a Spanish teacher when we're already in the red," said Kolmetz. "I feel virtual school is the best way to go."
Advertise the 2014-2015 tentative budget; resolutions for District Participation in PAEC and PAEC Professional Development Center; resolution and contracts for Gateway Educational Computing Consultants and PAEC Student Data Services; performance contract for PAEC ESE Consultative Services; PAEC contract agreement for TSA Consulting Services; contract agreement with PAEC for STEM Scholars Transportation Services; contract with
· Chemical Addictions Recovery Effort, Inc.; agreement with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; and contract for services with Greta B. Harris to provide psychological assessments.
· 2014-2015 Gas and Diesel Bin first year extension with Retif Oil and Fuel.
· Personnel recommendations.
· Advertise a Public Hearing for the budget at 5:05 p.m. on July 28.
The next meeting of the Holmes District School Board will be held at 6 p.m. on July 29.