TOP PHOTO: Steve Morgan was elected as the Board of Education chairman of the board. He is pictured with Director of Schools Jennifer Fields.

By Charlotte Underwood 

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell County Board of Education met Tuesday evening, electing Steve Morgan as chairman of the board. He was elected unanimously. Board members once again failed to elect a vice chair.

Morgan thanked the board for their confidence in him.

“I will do my best and hopefully we can have a good impact this year on our students,” Morgan said.

When it came time to nominate for the position of BOE vice chair, board member Johnny Byrge nominated Sharon Ridenour as vice chair, but the motion failed.

Board member Crystal Creekmore nominated Jeff Miller as vice chair, but that motion failed as well, with the board once again split evenly.

The two vice chair nominees on Tuesday night were not eligible to be nominated again until the next meeting, and no other vice chair nominations were made, so the board chair Steve Morgan “moved forward with business” and electing a vice chair will be taken up again next month.

In other school board business, board members discussed re-submitting roofing bids for LaFollette Elementary School and Caryville Elementary School, as well as fencing for Jellico Elementary School and Jellico High School.

A motion was made to rebid the roof job for LaFollette Elementary School, but it failed for lack of votes, as did the motion to rebid the roof on Caryville Elementary School. 

“We need someone to explain the difference in the products,” Ronnie Lasley said.

The roof replacements will be paid for using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) money, which has to be spent out by next September, according to Director of Schools Jennifer Fields.

“Time is slipping away; we need to get started,” Johnny Byrge said.

“I think if we could make it a more competitive bid, it would be better. We will submit this back to Roof Management and have a workshop on it,” Morgan said.

Board members did approve to rebid the fencing projects at Jellico Elementary and Jellico High schools. 

Also approved was the second and final reading of various school policies as reccomended by the policy committee. 

Board members approved a CCBOE Discipline Hearing Committee consisting of Jason Horne, Tracie Chambers and Sandi Wilson. Horne is listed as chair.

“Having this committee is one of our policies, and this is just to fulfill that policy,” Fields said.

Board members also discussed hiring an architect for Jellico High School field house renovations. 

“I think we need to get a scope of work and look at it from there,” board member Johnny Byrge said. 

The issue was tabled till next month’s meeting until BOE members can get more information on the proposed project. 

Other business discussed was the traffic issue at Jacksboro Elementary School.

Board member Randy Heatherly said he was concerned with it causing a dangerous situation with emergency response.

Sheriff Wayne Barton weiged in his opinion, saying staggering the pickup times would not help.

“There is no way to safely dismiss with the current parking lot and the cars coming in off the road. The school parking area is not built for the number of students and the number of car riders coming in and out. People come and get in line sometimes an hour early,” Barton said.

He said unless the BOE wanted to “move some dirt,” there’s not going to be a solution.

“It was a problem at many of our schools and we’ve come up with solutions, but there’s not a solution up there,” Barton said.

“We will continue to hash this out and see if we can work something out,” board chair Steve Morgan said.

Final business discussed was the surplus of the Oak Grove property, Pinecrest School and Davis Chapel property.

“In 2016, the Oak Grove property was divided into seven tracts of lots to be auctioned off, but it was never auctioned off,” Fields said.

According to Fields, the BOE uses the Davis Chapel property as storage.

The Pinecrest property was used as a community center and a fire hall, but it has been closed for six to eight years. It is listed as a county fire service station. 

The board will discuss the surplus and possible sale of these properties with their attorney Dail Cantrell before revisiting discussion.

During the meeting, Director of Schools Jennifer Fields also announced that Bus 18 did not run Tuesday and it’s not running on Wednesday either and “may not run the rest of the week.”

“They are having difficulty with a certified driver on that route,” Fields said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/18/2023-6AM)

2 Replies to “Steve Morgan elected as BOE chair; board discusses bids, other business”

  1. Traffic at Lafollette elementary is really dangerous especially when there’s no police to direct traffic! I’ve contacted several people about this but most never returned my call, the safety of our children should be everyone’s concern! We should be able to come up with a solution.

  2. Steve Morgan will make be an outstanding School Boatd Chairman. He has a genuine concern for every school in the county and all their students. Steve listens to people’s concerns and responds. His decisions on the Board are based on what is best for the students. He has a calming and firm demeanor. As a formers Board member, I think he is an excellent choice.

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