, 2015

Governing bodies for
regional schools meet

by Audrey Thomasson

WARSAW—A reorganization of officers took place last week at the joint board meetings of the Northern Neck Regional Technical Center, Alternative Education Program and Special Education program.

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Additionally, the boards decided unanimously to move their reorganizational meetings to January when newly elected school board members take office. As a result, the officers will hold office for the first half of the fiscal year.

Technical Center

The Technical Center board officers for the next six months are chairman, Don McCann of Lancaster County; vice chairman, Patricia Pugh of Richmond County; executive superintendent, Dr. Gregory Smith, superintendent of Richmond County schools; and deputy executive superintendent, Dr. Scott Burckbuchler, superintendent of Essex County schools.

The board elected technical center finance director Anne Douglas to serve as clerk and Westmoreland schools clerk Linda Dillard to serve as deputy clerk.

The technical center will begin holding board meetings at 7 p.m. on fourth Mondays at 13946 Historyland Highway, Warsaw.

After a closed session, the board unanimously voted to hire Eric C. Andersen as maritime instructor. Andersen had previously worked in repairs and maintenance at Red Law Mechanical Inc. in Lively, Coastal Marine in Deltaville and River Marine in Yuma, Ariz.

Alternative school

The Northern Neck Alternative Education Program officers for the coming half-year are chairman, Susan Saunders of Northumberland County; vice chairman, Patricia Pugh; executive superintendent, Dr. Rebecca Lowry, superintendent of Westmoreland schools; and deputy executive superintendent, Steven Parker, superintendent of Lancaster schools.

The board elected Dillard as clerk and Douglas as deputy clerk.

Members unanimously adopted changes to the alternative education program. Changes and additions will affect behavioral modification, mandatory dress code, self-monitoring behavioral chart, entrance and exit goals, 18-week curriculum and class schedule modifications, and long-term suspension.

Smith stressed the importance of using the “alternative classroom...as a last resort. There are alternative students who need the alternative environment that we’re not addressing.”

He noted some students do much better in the alternative environment. But he also noted the expense involved to educate a student at the school and, with the limited funding, staff try to meet the needs of every student but don’t always succeed. “Accept the plan now, and begin a conversation on a true alternative education, which includes budget discussions,” he said. “The goal is to return them to their school.”

School vice principal Todd Davis reported the number of seats allotted to each district are based on the amount of money each district contributes. He said the regional center was started by Westmoreland, Northumberland and Richmond counties. Those three counties invest more and hold more seats. Lancaster and Colonial Beach joined later.

Davis noted Westmoreland contributes $60,000 for 12 slots while Lancaster pays $10,000 for three. There are three teachers with an anticipated 36 slots filled at any time, although the school has been averaging many more students.

The board noted Colonial Beach pulled out of the program for the coming year.

Special education

Board officers for the Northern Neck Special Education Program are chairman, Saunders; vice chairman, Pugh; executive superintendent, Dr. Rebecca Gates, superintendent of Northumberland Public School District; and deputy superintendent, Smith.

Board clerk is Tina Withers and deputy clerk is Susie Adams, both of the Northern Neck Regional Special Education Program. Dr. Jamie Blake was reappointed as the program director.

The board increased its mileage reimbursement rate to 56.5 cents per mile.

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