Pleas made for teachers at S.P. Morton

Published 10:38 am Monday, March 20, 2017

Two faculty members from S.P. Morton Elementary School were the only speakers at the public hearing for the proposed Franklin City Public School budget. Both made their case for the teachers.

Patricia Rideout, media specialist, said that in her many years in the school, she’s only seen one raise and one bonus; the latter from an education program during President Obama’s terms.

Rideout noted that there’s a high turnover at the school, which she believe contributes to the school’s inability to meet state and federal mandates.

She asked the board members “Is there anyway you can consider creating a stipend or reward for those of us who stay and persevere?”

The salaries for beginning teachers in Southampton County schools has surpassed that of Franklin, said Rideout, adding, “That’s concerning.”

Further, she pleaded for the board not to cut the budget for substitute teachers. The lack of this help compels teachers to split their attention and time between classes.

“We have not been fully staff at S.P. Morton in years,” said Rideout.

Shawn Denne, the health physical education instructor, said that 90 percent of the teachers at the school have come and gone within less than three years.

He asked the board members that if they were teachers, would they come here and stay?

Regarding the search for a full-time superintendent, Chairman Bob Holt said that the board had met with 29 applicants, and several have been selected for interviews, which will take place from Tuesday, March 21 through Wednesday, April 5.

There have been 37 inquiries, with 29 full applications. Eight are current or former superintendents; four are assistant/associate/deputy superintendents; seven are central office administrators; seven principal/building level administratoWrs; and three others from different categories or professions.

Of the applicants, 19 are men and 10 are women; 10 candidates are from Virginia and the remaining 19 from Washington, D.C., Vermont, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Georgia and even the Bahamas.

In other school business:

• A called school board meeting will take place on Monday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m., in the downstairs school board office conference room. This is a closed meeting to discus prospective employees.

• The joint meeting with the city council will be on Monday, March 20, at 7 p.m. in the council’s upstairs confe,rence room for a budget work session.