2012-07-14 / News

Middle school seeking volunteer mentors

By Charles Prince

BALTIMORE – Retired and now rehired part-time reading teacher Kay Williamson is seeking volunteers to serve as mentors next school year for Liberty Union-Thurston Middle School students.

The objective is to keep students from falling behind. Last school year middle school guidance counselor Debbie Miller volunteered to work with students during lunch to get their homework done. She saw some students regularly and recognized that they needed more extensive help.

Williamson, who was recently honored as a super volunteer at the middle school, took some struggling students under her wing with excellent results. She is now volunteering to coordinate the program which will be part of the Baltimore Ministerial Association’s Good Neighbor in the Village program. Williamson will interview and train adult mentors.

Middle school principal Tim Turner said last year’s mentoring and tutoring efforts were worthwhile. The 400 some student school had just one student that had to attend summer school.

“We have a lot of retired teachers in this community,” Turner said. But mentors won’t be limited to retired teachers.

Williamson hopes mentors can meet twice a week with their student for about 30 minutes each session. “It is a rewarding experience for the student and the volunteer.” Call the middle school at 740-862-4126 for more information on the expanded program.

In other business at the Monday night school board meeting, members unanimously approved a settlement agreement with Crawford Mechanical Services concerning a dispute about work done constructing the new middle school. Crawford made a claim for alleged delays and acceleration while the district wanted the contractor to replace a defective sewer line in the new building.

The agreement pays Crawford $95,000 to settle the delays/acceleration claims; requires Crawford to provide a replacement bond for the project (original bond company went out of business) with the district committing to pay a maximum of $18,000 for one-third of the bond’s cost; and requires Crawford to pay $30,000 for the defective sewer line work.

The board also authorized a contract with another contractor to replace the defective sewer line on a time and materials basis up to a maximum of $80,000.

In its personnel actions, board members:

• Rehired Alan Young as a middle school physical education teacher after he retired at the end of last school year;

• Accepted the resignation for retirement of administrative assistant Brenda Johnson;

• Accepted the resignation of middle school intervention specialist Mallory James;

• Employed Seth Howard as a part-time (5/8’s) middle school social studies teacher on a one year contract; and

• Approved supplemental contracts with Jay Fant as band assistant and Brittany Tisdale as flag corps advisor.

Superintendent Paul Mathews outlined two changes in pay-toparticipate fees that board members will consider next month. The high school band fee will increase from $35 to $50 and the flag or majorette corps fees moves from $20 to $50. The increases were requested to pay travel expenses as the band heads to more competitions and special events.

Mathews said the paving projects at the high school are wrapping up. Some soft spots were encountered in the former gravel lots in front of the school. “This project is about getting it right,’ he told board members.

The repaved lot behind the gym is being lined to allow the marching band to practice on it.

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