Board to require background check for volunteers

Jan Runions Staff Writer

October 19, 2013

Anyone wishing to volunteer within the Claiborne school system will undergo a background check.

The school board unanimously approved a measure during last week’s monthly meeting to ensure the safety of each teacher and student by insuring the costs of fingerprinting their volunteers.

During discussion, Board Member Sam Owens said he wanted to remind every principal about the school policy of running a background check on each person who works with county students.

The state already requires mandatory background checks be done in public schools.

It will cost the school system about $30 per volunteer for fingerprinting.

It appears a glitch in a couple of old insurance policies will have Director of Schools Connie Holdway figuring a way to hand back beneficiary status to the families of the original policyholders.

During the school board workshop, it was determined at least two private policies taken out by school system employees some 25 to 30 years ago were mistakenly left to the Claiborne school system instead of the individuals’ next of kin.

Owens said the county had never paid a penny on either policy and that the premiums had been kept up by the employees.

Holdway agreed to do the necessary paperwork to reassign the policies to the rightful heirs.

H. Y. Livesay Middle School will be joining Forge Ridge and Powell Valley Elementary Schools in the National Archery in the Schools Program. The board unanimously approved the action.

In another matter, the board accepted FOCUS Grant funds totaling nearly $295,000. Over $99,998 went to H.Y. Livesay. Powell Valley Elementary received nearly $194,625 in grant money.

Claiborne High School student board member Morgan Payne congratulated Ron Taylor for garnering one of the two student of the month spots.

Taylor, who currently holds a 3.1 GPA, is looking toward a career in construction management or mechanical engineering.

Sarah Cupp, a 3.7 GPA senior and second recipient, is working toward a career as an anesthesiologist nurse.

The high school recently raised over $4,600 through a trike-a-thon, which will go to the St. Jude Research Foundation.

Cumberland Gap student board member Ashley Hamilton commended fellow students who make up the two teams to attend the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., at the end of this month.

She also congratulated Robert Fortner and Cody Thompson for working toward American FFA degrees.

Both schools reported successful pledge drives against texting while driving.

Reach Jan Runions at jrunions@civitasmedia.com or 423-626-3222.