School Board retains leaders

Published 8:47 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

JACKSON — Leadership for Northampton County Schools will stay the same.

On Monday, the Northampton County Board of Education voted to keep Chairperson Grace Edwards and Vice-Chair Bill Little in their current roles. Meanwhile the board also voted to extend Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy’s contract.

Board Attorney Rod Malone opened the floor for nominations.

Board member Donald Johnson motioned that Edwards and Little stay in their respective positions. Erica Smith-Ingram offered a second.

“Is this a normal thing that comes up every year,” asked Lafayette Majette.

Malone said the board does it each year in July.

“According to the board’s policy and your change in the local legislation, your board is constituted in terms of the chair and vice chair each July,” he said.

Malone added most boards follow this policy.

Majette questioned if it could be changed to two years.

“The board could look at revising its policy to change the term of the office,” Malone responded. “The problem is people come on and off the board at times. Like for instance, if it were a two year term now and Grace’s (Edwards) term, I believe, ends in a year…it could create some problems.”

Majette said he thought the term should be longer because by the time a person gets in and learns the seat there might be a change in the leadership.

Board members voted in favor to keep Edwards as Chair of the Board and Little as Vice Chair. The motion passed in a 6-1 vote with the only opposition coming from Majette.

Later in the meeting, after a closed session to discuss personnel, the board agreed to extend Dr. Bracy’s contract by one year and give the superintendent along with Assistant Superintendent Phil Matthews bonuses as contracted.

“I motion to extend Dr. Bracy’s contract by one year and due to the results of his hardwork and dedication a $8,500 bonus,” said Johnson.

“This is part of his contract,” clarified Charles Tyner. “Thank you superintendent.”

Tyner said the board would have like to have given a larger bonus, but considering the financial crunch the school system was in “we had to waiver that.”

“I understand,” said Bracy.

The motion was approved in a 6-0 vote. Erica Smith-Ingram was absent from the vote.

The board also unanimously approved a $3,500 bonus for Matthews.

Board members commended him on his work in the consolidation of schools process and working closely with Dr. Bracy.