New leadership in NA-FC school board PDF Print E-mail

By Josh Suiter
Special Correspondent

The New Albany Floyd County School Corporation Board of Trustees has new leadership starting out the 2018 year. During the meeting, Jenny Higbie was elected as Board President.


Higbie, a former teacher and parent of children in the corporation, just completed her first year on the board.

Higbie was nominated by Elizabeth Galligan and the nomination was seconded by Lee Cotner. The motion passed 7-0.

In addition, the board elected Galligan, who is also completed her first year on the board, as vice president. She was chosen over former Vice President Lee Ann Wiseheart. By a vote of 5-2.

Wiseheart was elected Secretary over Lee Cotner by a vote of 4-3.

The board also did various recognitions during the meeting.

They acknowledged Becky Clifton, who has been an athletic trainer for Floyd Central High School since 1991 and is the third in the school’s history, who was inducted into the Indiana Athletic Trainer Hall of Fame. Dr. Louis Jensen, Assistant Superintendent of High School, said “for the last 27 years, she has been a mainstay on the bench for all athletic teams, NJROTC, clubs, you name it she has been on the bench. She has worked with countless athletes, coaches, staff members and not to mention the countless hours she puts in on a daily basis.”

“Becky has been more than just a trainer to our students at Floyd Central. She has been a friend to all students, staff members and community members,” he added.

In addition, the board recognized Fairmont Elementary School for their Title I Distinguished School Award. Tony Duffy, Director of Elementary School Education, said the program recognizes superior Title 1 schools across the country since 1996.

“These schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success, strong partnerships between the school, parents and the community,” he said.

He said schools are selected by their state agency and must qualify under certain categories including exceptional student performance for two or more ore consecutive years or closing the achievement gap between student groups.

Duffy, Principal Susie Gahan and Assistant Principal Missy Hooks were in a telephone interview and the school was also visited by the selection team. Fairmont is one of two schools selected in Indiana and will also be able to be a presenter at future Indiana Department of Education events and will be invited to attend and be recognized at the Title 1 conference in Philadelphia on February 8-11.

Other items from the meeting included:

S. Ellen Jones and Green Valley elementary schools each were awarded a school improvement grant from the Indiana Department of Education. The awards are $1.2 million for Green Valley and $1.5 million for S. Ellen Jones. The funds can be used for a variety of things including principal mentorship, reading data interventionists, school-to-home outreach, professional development and tutoring to extended day opportunities.

The board also approved the appointment of Heather Finn, assistant principal at Green Valley to the New Albany Floyd County Public Library Board.

The board unanimously approved an agreement with Martin Travel to plan the 8th Grade Washington, DC Trip. The total cost for the trip will be $580.00 total  for a 3 day, 2 night trip and will include sites such as Arlington National Cemetery, the African American History Museum and the Naval Academy. Online payment options are also available.

At the request of Cotner, the board tabled a discussion on School Board Member salaries. Cotner said he thought discussions were premature. Gardenour, who requested the item be on the agenda, said it would raise their pay from $2,800 per year to $3,900 a year. The board voted 4-3 to table this item. Board Members Cotner, Donna Corbett, Galligan and Higbie approved the motion to table it while board members Jan Anderson, Gardenour and Wiseheart voted against it.

The board also heard a presentation from Eric Reid, Director of Transportation, regarding seat belts on school buses. Reid said there has been lots of discussion around this. He said in 1977  have this task plus field trips or interstate travel. Reid said they will be purchasing 12 buses with seat belts each year. The buses cost approximately $9,500 more per bus than the traditional buses. Snyder said there are between 120-130 buses and the replacement of 10-15 a year will take around 12 years. Elementary buses will be first.