Fayette awaits new superintendent’s plan

Fayette awaits new superintendent’s plan

By Sarah Plummer


FAYETTEVILLE — Citizens and the Fayette County Board of Education welcomed newly appointed Superintendent Terry George at Monday’s meeting. Just three days on the job, George said he has already met many residents who feel positive about Fayette County and their schools.

Board Vice President Pat Gray said he was anxious to hear the superintendent’s short-term goals, and George said he expects to share plans by August’s meeting.

More than 35 citizens attended Monday’s meeting and let George know they are waiting to see his solutions to move Fayette County Schools forward. Parents and children picketed outside the central office in Fayetteville with signsstating variations of: “Collins Middle students deserve a school.”

Parent Kim Pernell said she intends to continue fighting until the 811 students at Collins have a permanent school, but her work won’t stop there. “It stops when every child in Fayette County gets the school and education they deserve,”she said. “Those of you on the board who voted no (in the recent bond election), I hope you are working now for a better solution. You have to come together to fix this problem,” she added.

Carolyn Arritt told George, “I hope you will listen and work with all the citizens, stand up for all the students in Fayette County, and do not bow down to the wishes of a few.”

She noted that Fayette County has three different geographical areas, and what works best in onearea does not work in all areas.

Some in the county have been so focused on merging students that they have lost sight of education, she added.

Board member Leon Ivey said he shared the concern expressed Monday about Collins Middle and hoped for a short-term goal to reunite students in a middle school environment.

He asked those present to stay engaged. “If you are not speaking for your child, they are not being spoken for,” he said.

Board member Patsy Holliday said she hoped George would help resolve some of the district’s problems.

Holliday expressed concern the meeting minutes may be incomplete. She said public comments were not included in some reports and others referred to attachments, but those were not provided.

George told Holliday all items that must be included in minutes per State Code were included,and he recommended the board accept the minutes as presented.

Holliday asked again about details of the minutes.

George again said, “Items required by law to be contained are included,” but added, “I’ll be happy to discuss it with you, if you have specific questions.”

Holliday reiterated concerns she expressed during a June 12 board meeting about airplane tickets fora school trip being purchased prior to the board’s approval of the trip.

Holliday voted against approval of the minutes.

Also during the meeting, Holliday asked those present to keep board member Lou Jones and her family in their prayers as Jones’ husband is ill.