The Times Journal & Russell County News
Friday, Apr. 25, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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Pierce retires, Pickett named interim superintendent
In June 24 Issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Reporter

After more than 33 years in the county's school system and 10 as its superintendent, Scott Pierce announced his retirement from the position, effective June 30, at Monday night's monthly school board meeting.

In what was an emotional address, Pierce choked back tears several times as he thanked numerous people for allowing him to serve in the school system and at the board for so many years.

"I ask that you accept this with my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for allowing me to serve this district," Pierce said. "We've been blessed"

He along with his wife, Brenda, will both be retiring at the end of the month. He said that he and his wife, who also worked in the school system, looked at the situation and if they retired now it would save between 3-4 teacher positions.

"It would be very selfish to continue working when we can retire and we have young people whose jobs are in jeopardy and it would help them," he said. "It has been a great 33 and a half years and it went by pretty fast. That's the way things occur when you have fun, it moves quickly."

Pierce thanked school board members Steve Kerr, Harry Kimbler, Clifford Wilson, Debbie Haynes and Wayne Gosser as well as board attorney Jeff Hoover.

"You're not board members, you're my friends," he said. He also thanked the principals, teachers, the community and all the businesses that have supported him throughout his tenure.

"There are tough times ahead for education but kids will be educated, buses will run and it will all go straight ahead," he said.

Following Pierce's announcement, the board entered into executive session for nearly 20 minutes to discuss personnel matters.  

Once returning to open session, the board heard a motion by member Wayne Gosser, and the board voted to accept Pierce's retirement and unanimously approved the appointment of Assistant Superintendent Kenny Pickett to serve as interim superintendent until a successor is chosen.  

In its final action of the night the board directed board attorney Jeff Hoover to begin implementing a superintendent selection committee, which is required by Kentucky law, to look into filling the soon vacant position.

In other happenings at the meeting:

The official start of the 2010-11 school year will be August 4 for teachers and students, the board heard. The calendar is based on 174 days and more than 1,062 hours of instruction rather than a 185 day school year.

Instructional time beyond the required hours may be used to make up time missed due to weather or other emergencies.

Pierce said the school board will save approximately $135,000 by altering the schedule to its current revised form. The last day of school is slated for May 20.

Pierce announced the retirements of Brenda Pierce, Judy Gaskin, Tracey Antle, Sheila McKinley, Larold Gosser and Debbie Flanagan at the meeting.

He also announced that boy's high school golf coach James Rixon and girl's high school softball coach Trent Tarter have resigned from their positions as coaches; Tarter will remain the physical education teacher at the middle school.

Daniel Johnson was also named the high school's boy's golf coach at the meeting while Shannon Taylor was named an emergency certified substitute teacher and Nekesha Smith was named a substitute instructional assistant.

School board members heard the first reading of the 2010-11 Student Code of Acceptable Behavior and Attendance Policy, in accordance with state law. The code, which must be updated from time to time, is given out to students and parents at the beginning of the school year and establishes standards of acceptable behavior and discipline.

The annual board action for emergency and provisional certification was accepted at Monday's meeting. This moved to certify teachers of specified areas of shortage in order to fill unanticipated vacant teacher positions and approve emergency certification for non-certified substitute teachers who are hired to broaden the substitute pool to cover classes when teachers are absent.

Contracts were approved by the board with Eastern Kentucky University for a memorandum of agreement, nursing services with the Lake Cumberland District Health Department and M & M Physical Therapy, Inc.

The board approved the monthly treasurer's report and payment of the bills that were approved by the finance officer and the program director or principal as well as the school activity fund monthly reports.

Board members heard the first reading of a policy accepting revisions to the board's access to electronic media and acceptable use policy after administrators, teachers and staff received new email addresses.

The board approved a recommendation by Pierce to the state's Commissioner of Education for use of the Capital Outlay funds to be transferred to maintenance.

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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