(Jan. 7, 2021) The following took place during the Worcester County Board of Education meeting on Dec. 15:
Principal of the Year
Matthew Record, the principal of Pocomoke Middle School, was recognized by Superintendent Lou Taylor and the school board members for being named Maryland Middle School Principal of the Year.
“One of the most impressive things besides his instructional leadership is his attention to detail in every aspect of the school,” Taylor said. “When you ride up to his school, it’s different because the grounds are immaculate.”
Record is working on his doctorate.
Taylor presented proclamations to retiring District 2 Board member Barry Brittingham and District 3 Board member Sara Thompson at their last meeting.
“They have always stayed focus on what the needs are for our kids, and I’m going to miss them,” Taylor said. “I’m going to miss their leadership. I’m going to miss their support. I’m going to miss their way of handling business here.”
Brittingham was elected twice to the Worcester County Board of Education, serving for nine and half years.
Thompson is the longest serving Worcester County board member with 26.5 years of service. Taylor said she is the longest consecutive serving board member in the state.
“She’s been one of those people who has made our school system successful and that will carry on for years and years to come,” he added. “And I’m grateful to her on a personal note for the support she has given me at every level that I’ve always worked in the school system for the last 37 years.”
Donald Smack and Dr. Jon Andes will begin their terms on the board on Jan. 19.
Holiday card contest
Worcester County Public Schools hosted a holiday card making contest with the theme “High-tech Holiday.” Students were encouraged to use digital photography and graphic design through iPad apps to create card designs.
Cecilia Diehlmann, a fifth grader at Berlin Intermediate School, was the elementary school winner for her “Let’s Zoom into the Holidays!” design.
Luke Riser, a sixth grader at Berlin Intermediate School, was the middle school winner for his #BetterTogether snowmen design with the county school system’s logo.
Silas Cascio, a senior at Stephen Decatur High School, was the high school winner for his snowman holiday card that featured the binary code as snow.
Lastly, Ashley Alvarez, a senior at Snow Hill High School, was the overall winner for her “Happy Holidays” card with holly and decorated reindeer.
Check for hotspots
The Worcester County Education Foundation presented a check for $45,000 to the school board to purchase additional internet
Dr. Dwayne Abt, chief safety and human relations officer at the public schools, told the board that employees are being trained almost daily about safety protocols. The training began on Dec. 2 and will continue until early January.
Bus contractors were also trained via conference call on Dec. 14 about covid-19 prevention protocols pertaining to the buses, Abt said.
Lastly, the committee has discussed purchasing more sanitation materials and personal protective equipment with a safety grant.
Joe Price, facilities planner for the county school system, presented a monthly Showell Elementary Replacement School contractor construction requisition request for the board’s approval.
The payments to date for the new school construction are $37 million. The total contract amount is nearly $40 million.
The board approved the current payment requisition of $484,267.56.
Bess Cropper, resources and management and monitoring facilitator at Worcester County Public Schools told the board that a policy regarding electronic signatures needed to be adopted.
The board agreed to adopt the new policy that states “the superintendent may authorize the use of secure electronic or other types of digital signatures when required by law or regulation and when required for efficient operation of the school system.”
The electronic/digital signatures may be authorized for specific purposes or for specific people.
According to the policy, the electronic/digital signature must be: authorized by the superintendent, required by law or regulation or deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the school system by the superintendent, be secure and verifiable, be in compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations and be renewed annually.
The superintendent will maintain the roster of people authorized to sign electronically or digitally and permit procedural uses of such signatures.