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Cherie Swader

By: Eddy Gifford, Publisher


The Dade County Board of Education held its June meeting on the ninth at the Central Office and hired a new Superintendent of Schools.

While the announcement was of no surprise since the Board announced at their last meeting that the Interim Superintendent Cherie Swader was the only finalist for the job the Board took official action and hired Swader effective July 1, 2014. She will remain as the Interim Superintendent until then.

Swader replaces Shawn Tobin who retired early after announcing he would be leaving at the end of his contract, June 30, 2014. Swader has been in the Dade County School System for many years as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.

In other action the Board also hired a new principal for Dade Middle School replacing Karen deMarche who recently retired. Jamison Griffin was hired by the Board and will assume his new position on July 1, 2014. Griffin comes to Dade County from Signal Mountain where he was assistant middle school principal. Prior to his Signal Mountain assignment he had served in a similar capacity at East Hamilton. He started his teaching career at Southeast Whitfield High School where he built a struggling soccer program into a state contender.

Griffin, his wife and three children live on Lookout Mountain.

In other action Annice Newton reported to the Board on progress being made to update the Dade Elementary School playground to make it handicap friendly.

Newton reported a committee was researching equipment and was working with a company who specialized in the equipment but noted that the surface must be addressed first. While research continues Newton said they hoped to have a recommendation to the Board in the near future.

The Board passed a spending resolution, a yearly event, in case at some point they have to borrow money until tax money is received. All money borrowed must be repaid before the end of the physical year.

Several bids were awarded including one to Blevins Construction for work on and additions to the tennis courts at the high school. Blevins was low bidder at $388,280 with an expected completion in 122 days.

This includes adding two new courts, replacing the four existing courts, lighting and paving of the area near the courts.

Other bids that were awarded included a new steam kettle for Dade Middle School and bread bids.

The Board also approved lunch prices for the next school year and they reflect a 10¢ increase. School lunch prices for next year will be: Dade and Davis Elementary Schools, $1.70; Dade Middle School, $1.90; and Dade County High School, $2.

The Board also accepted the high bids on two vehicles that had been deemed excess property. Those bids totaled $950 for a 1979 Chevy truck and a 1992 Buick Regal. CP Truck Sales was the winning bidder.

A contract for the coming year was also approved with Benchmark Rehabilitation for athletic trainers at athletic events. That contract remained the same as past years at $2,300.

The Board accepted the resignations of the following: William “Red” McDaniel, Rachel S. Blevins, Cole Hicks and Diane Burnett.

BOE members hired Bill Hooker, Associate Superintendent; Byron Ballard, 49 percent graduation coach; Jamison Griffin, Principal; James Kirby and Larry Walker, part time bus drivers; and Tisa Lindsey, teacher for the coming school year.

A special called meeting was also held this past Monday at the Board of Education office. Details of that meeting will be in next week's edition of the Sentinel.

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