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By: Eddy Gifford, Publisher

The Dade County Board of Education members earned their pay Monday when they arrived at the Central Office at 3:00 pm. for 3 hours of Board training and then spent the next three hours in a work session/special called meeting.

Dade County Superintendent Shawn Tobin recognized four Dade Elementary School students for their work on the “Love Layla Project.” Those recognized were Emma Taylor, Cailie Pendergrass, Jasey Oliver and Josie Pierce. They have been raising money to assist Layla’s family with her medical expenses.

Dan Blevins gave the Board a transportation report and explained some of the recent bus route changes and why they were necessary.

Jamie Fahrney reported that the school system had been approved for e-rate funding, a grant to assist with network upgrades at Dade Middle, Dade Elementary and Davis Elementary. He stated that these upgrades would solve a lot of the current problems that are experiencing with the internet. The grant is 90% funding for the project that was estimated at $120,000.

Each of the school principals reported on activities at their respective schools and listed three things on their wish list for their school. Those items were mostly technology related but also included such things as tables and chairs.

Student enrollment for this year was reported with Dade High School having 651 students compared to 672 last year. Dade Middle School was the only school to report an increase over last year, reporting 489 this year and 472 last year. Davis Elementary has 281 this year and had 284 last year while Dade Elementary came in at 675 this year compared to 713 last year.

Overall the Dade County School system is reporting 2,096 this year while last year they reported 2,141.

Superintendent Tobin reported on SPLOST collections and projects, showing a SPLOST balance on September 30 of $2,365,667.81 with some $743,081 still owed on existing projects.

He reported work is continuing on the baseball/PE facility and work has started on the video broadcast/press box.

It was also reported that the track soft topping should be on in the next few days and work is finishing up at Dade Middle School gym.

Superintendent Tobin also reported his “Coffee with Parents and Community Members” will be held this Wednesday at Dade Elementary School Cafeteria from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. and a Mentorship Meeting at Guthrie’s restaurant will be held on November 7 at 9:30 a.m.

It was also announced that the November 11 board work session would be held at Dade Elementary School at 5:00 p.m.

The Board approved a paper bid from American Paper for 440 cases at a cost of $11,352.

The Board then went into executive session and on returning approved the following personnel:

Misty Webster, teacher, Zina Wilson, paraprofessional, Aaron Case, community lay coach, Jennifer Gatlin, school food service (part time) and Sandy Bradley,  testing coordinator and math coach effective January 2014.

The following substitutes were also approved: Sonja Cloud and Kelly Diane Clark, food service; and Victoria Artrip, Marie Blevins, Melinda Burczyk, Ashley Clark, Paula Hooker, Jason Hurst, Gary Ihfe, Andrea Mazariegos, and Kaitlen Pickelen as substitute teachers.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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