John Johnson - CCBOE

John Johnson 5th District

NEWPORT—Cocke County School Board member John Johnson urged his fellow board members, “Let’s fix for the future,” during its meeting on Tuesday night.

Johnson’s plea concerned needed work at Cosby High and Elementary Schools.

Pointing out that boards are urged to have five-year goals, Johnson said, “I think it’s a good idea to revisit our goals.” Johnson noted that since those goals were established, membership of the board has changed.

He then turned his remarks to the physical condition of the attached Cosby High and Elementary Schools. Although the physical plants are joined by a covered walkway, they are two separate schools in the system, each with its own principal and staff.

Johnson noted the need for a plan to reroute morning and afternoon traffic at the schools, voicing his concern for the safety of students having to walk through buses and other vehicles as they enter and exit the schools.

He also said, “I also ask for, plead for help with the Cosby school buildings. When we set our goals, the board agreed that Cosby would be a priority. The gym roof and the bathrooms in the gym are in terrible shape. Let’s get this thing going.”

Fellow board member Richard Coggins, who also is an assistant basketball coach at Cosby, echoed Johnson’s remarks about the gymnasium roof. “It’s been patched and patched,” Coggins said. “We’ve had to stop ballgames as many as three times because of the rain. The gym needs immediate attention.”

Johnson added, “We need to jump in regarding the money needed and go before the CLB or do whatever we need to do to make this happen.”

Board member Jimmy Stokely suggested calling a meeting with all school principals regarding a needs assessment for all schools, but member Darla Morgan pointed out that such an assessment was done three years ago.

Otha Rolen, who recently returned to the board, added, “Leaks like that damage everything. We need to get bids.”

Johnson concluded his remarks by saying, “Let’s fix for the future and not just do band aids. If we fix something, and I’m talking schools, let’s fix it right.”

During the board’s business meeting, members unanimously approved a request to purchase auto body/hand/power tools from Mister Automotive for a total cost of $8,027.90. Money for the purchase will come from the Federal Perkins fund.

The group also approved:

• a request to begin a special education school-based enterprise (coffee cart) at CCHS

• a transportation agreement with Betty Bennett to transport a student to and from Three Rivers Learning Center for the 2018-2019 school year

• a request for four out-of-county students to attend school in Cocke County for the 2018-2019 school year

• various field trip requests

• various requests for county bus use

• various facility use requests

• various fundraiser requests

• two requests for transfers of students within the system

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