The Western Brown Local School District Board of Education discusses the agenda during Superintendent Chris Burrows’ last monthly board meeting before heading to Georgetown.
McKinney hired as Western Superintendent
A recent Western Brown School Board meeting led to the appointment of a new interim Superintentdent for the district. Current Superintendent Chris Burrows announced his intent to leave his position at Western Brown to pursue a career with Georgetown Exempted Village School District. Burrows' resignation was discussed at the Western Brown board meeting on Jan. 21, but board member Shane Bishop said they were not ready to make an announcement at that time.
"We don't have an official announcement we can make tonight, but you'll get it shortly," Bishop said. "We as a group haven't had a chance to talk with Chris as far as timelines and transition. As a group, we feel pretty comfortable about the plan going forward. We've had a couple great conversations with a candidate who's agreed to kind of serve as an interim for us until we can make plans going forward, so we're very excited about that and where we're going with that. I don't have an official resignation from Mr. Burrows yet."
The next day, Tuesday Jan. 22, the school announced that Peggy McKinney has accepted the role of interim superintendent until the board can fill the position permanently. McKinney begins on Monday, Jan. 28.
Burrows said he still did not have a selected start date with Georgetown schools, as he agreed stay with Western Brown in order to help McKinney through the transition period.
Burrows said, "I'm very comfortable and excited about the district moving forward as well. I told these guys I would stay as long as I needed to for them to make an appropriate transition, and that's why I have not spoken with the board at Georgetown since the day that they hired me and agreed upon my resignation. I have still not spoken one word to them because I still work for these guys, so tonight's the first night we could all come together as a group, and I felt it was only appropriate to wait on guidance from them, what they want me to do. I feel very strongly about it. We talked tonight, and I think we're comfortable moving forward. I'll give Shane my resignation as soon as possible, and I think the district's in good hands, there's a lot of work that's been done - a lot of great work by our teachers, our staff and our administrators and I think with this person the district will not skip a beat. I feel very confident about that."
Jina Bohl, Director of Curriculum and Instruction thanked Burrows on behalf of the district.
"We want to wish Mr. Burrows much success in his new endeavor at Georgetown and thank him for all that he's accomplished while being here at Western Brown," Bohl said in a press release. "Sitting here where I do, I get to see and experience the day to day ups and downs that a district administrator tackles and it takes special people to step up and take the responsibilities that Superintendents do. We wish you and your family the best, Mr. Burrows."
In other business:
Visitors to the meeting included two of three Western Brown High School students who participated in the Land of Grant Honor Concert Band.
"I just wanted to take a moment to recognize excellence of our students in the honor band at Western Brown," O'Neill said. "The Land of Grant Honor Band is a band comprised of students who successfully audition into the group - they're basically the best of what the schools have to offer in Adams, Clermont, Brown and Highland Counties, and I was very pleased to have every one of our students that auditioned make it in, so it's good to have a 100 percent success rate there." O'Neill awarded the students who were present, junior Garret MacDonald and freshman Lacey Campbell, certificates for a job well done. Freshman Mikayla Caudill will also receive an award, but was not present at the meeting.
Representatives from the Western Brown Community Group - the group made out of community members who have been the driving force in getting the school levy on the May ballot for round two - were also present.
Chris Peters, group member, spoke on behalf of the WBCG and gave an update on the group's recent efforts.
"For anybody that doesn't know, we have started a community group to support the levy," Peters said. "We're waiting now on the board to approve the resolution to put it back on the ballot and so we'll formalize as a group. The goal is that we'll really be the face of this as we work with the school district to get this passed, so that's where we're at right now."
In his superintendent report, Burrows discussed the district's website, which he announced would be updated the following day, Jan. 22, to include the ability for parents to sign up for email alerts when the website is updated, including teachers' pages.
"I think the district should be extremely excited about that in particular with the parent and the school communications, which I know sometimes is extremely difficult because everybody's busy," Burrows said. "We'll be on our people to keep that updated."
Burrows also discussed bus routes, which has been a topic of public conversation since the district cut routes for students who live within two miles of their school building.
"We made our cutbacks to the busing, I said I would look at the busing patterns to see if every bus had room for 10-15 more kids so that we can open it up for those child care providers in the district," Burrows said. "Hamersville has buses that have 63-64 [students] on them so it's just not possible to open that back up, but I did want to say we did look at the buses and it's just not possible at this time."
A meeting will be held 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, to approve Burrows' resignation, an interim superintendent, and adopt a resolution to proceed with the levy. The regular February board meeting will be Monday, Feb. 18.