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Superintendent’s report addresses county school district’s property ownership, teaching licenses

By April Jaynes ajaynes@civitasmedia.com

July 29, 2014

BIDWELL — At a recent meeting of the Gallia County Local Schools Board of Education, the superintendent’s report incited discussion about the board’s possible donation of property to the county and possibly revising employment requirements for the district teachers.


Superintendent Jude Meyers said he was recently asked if the board would be interested in donating some land that the school district owns to the county for the purpose of installing a satellite station.


“They are going to put in two satellites. They’re trying (to put in) one on the east side and one on the west side. You know, for salt and where they can refill the trucks and things like that,” he said.


The property, located off of St. Rt. 554, includes approximately four or five acres.


“The property’s located in Eno, on 554, and nobody knew we owned the property,” Meyers said. “It must have been (for) the old school in Eno, way, way back.”


Board members agreed that it does not appear that the land is being utilized at this time.


“There hasn’t been anything out there for years,” board member Billy Swain said.


Meyers said the county needs about three acres for the station and he sees no reason as to why the county can’t donate the property if it is not currently being utilized.


“Basically what they would be able to do is put in a satellite station, with salt and everything, and that means they would be better able to serve this side of the county, as opposed to always going back into the city and picking up all their supplies. They want to do the same thing out on the west side of the county, but that would not involve us and we didn’t even know we owned the land,” he said.


Meyers agreed to look into the matter more and report back to the board.


“It probably wouldn’t hurt to have someone do some research on what other properties we might own out there,” Meyers said. “If it’s valid and it’s not being used — and they can get to the heads of the county easier to better serve it, that means less delays and cancellations and things like that. So I will look into that and get back with you. If it’s feasible, like I said, it’s a win for Gallia County. Obviously we’re not using the land because we didn’t even know we had it.”


“It’s just as valuable for us as it is them, really,” Swain said.


Another issue Meyers addressed during his report to the board concerned teaching licenses and possibly revising the district’s teaching employment requirements.


“A conversation came up — I’m going to talk vaguely about it — but when people are hired, and I’m talking along the teaching lines, they’re required to have a specific license,” he said. “You might have your degree, but whatever the state puts on that license — for example, I can’t teach science. My license earned was in social studies, so I just can’t go into a science class and teach. And a lot of times, what happens is that someone goes through the teaching process, they pass all their classes, they meet all the education or graduation requirements and then what happens is they’re required to take a test, and based on whether they pass that test determines whether they get that name on the license. And we’ve had a few situations in the past where we have had people that have not had that name on the license.”


Meyers said the distric’s goal is to have its entire staff “highly qualified.”


“What that means to the district — you’ve heard ‘highly qualified,’ I know we’ve talked about that numerous times … You want 100 percent of your staff highly qualified, and that means you want an expert in that content teaching that subject to those kids,” he said. “I’d like to see that, if people are not licensed, that we put it in a language that says, ‘You must get your license in this amount of time or else you will not be back as an employee.’”


Specific situations were not addressed during the board’s discussion, but Meyers said he is looking into revising teacher employment requirements.


“I’m looking to do some language on that just to address that and a couple of situations,” he said. “Basically, we have a couple people that need to pick it up a little bit and get that piece of paper done.”


In addition to various personel motions, the board approved its $1,000 membership dues for the Gallia County Family and Children First Council for the fiscal year, its newly revised Gifted Parent Brochure, its Interagency Agreement for 2014-15, and its agreement for the Operation of Career Technical Programs with Gallia-Jackson-Vinton JVS.