Warren County Schools will not renew the contracts of three employees, including that of Title I Director Joyce Mahomes, in order to make up a $343,856 shortfall in its 2019-20 budget.
Dr. Ray Spain, previous superintendent, discussed the shortfall with the board of education on June 28. At that time, the board approved a continuation budget to allow Warren County Schools to continue operations at current levels after the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 because federal and state allotments for 2019-20 were unknown.
While remaining optimistic that state and federal funding could reduce the shortfall, Spain cautioned that the school system and board of education could be forced to make difficult decisions, including cutting personnel.
Mahomes arrived at Warren County Schools in 2014 as principal at Warren County Middle School. In 2016, she was appointed to the position of Title I director, overseeing local management of the federal grant program providing funds for school districts with high percentages of low-income families. Her contract expires at the end of this month.
Last week, school system Finance Officer Delores Pulliam told the newspaper that Chelsa Jennings, Warren County Schools’ curriculum and instruction director, will assume the Title I director’s duties as well. She came to Warren County Schools in 1999 as a teacher. In 2010, Jennings became the school system’s director of testing and accountability and curriculum facilitator for Social Studies. The following year, she became the director of the School Improvement Grant for Warren County High School while continuing to serve as curriculum facilitator for Social Studies. She has been curriculum and instruction director since 2014.
Other personnel whose contracts were not renewed due to the budget were Elton Buffaloe, behavior support interventionist at Northside K-8 School, and Jerry Hicks, behavior support interventionist at Mariam Boyd Elementary School.
Pulliam indicated that combining the Title I director and curriculum and instruction director’s positions will result in a savings of $102,957. Eliminating the two behavior support intervention positions will save the school system $17,260, she said.
Earlier this summer, contracts were not renewed for six positions due to budget uncertainties. At the time, Spain said that the positions are primarily held by personnel planning to leave Warren County Schools or who may be transferred to other positions within the school district.
Pulliam told the newspaper last week that the school system is tightening spending in a number of areas in order to close the shortfall, including the Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy. The county held its allocation for the program at $119,000, the same as in 2018-19. Warren County Schools requested $176,927. Jerome Williams, who served as SEMAA project manager since 2015, resigned last month to accept a position with another county.
Pulliam said that Warren County Schools must adjust the program to the amount of funding allocated, but plans for the 2019-20 school year have not been announced.
Other personnel matters
In other personnel matters, the board:
Approved the employment of the following: Warren County Middle School: Samantha Birmingham and Oscar Jiminez, Math teachers; and Brithney Morgan, Rebekah Ravoori and Shaolin Reid-Biggs, Exceptional Children teachers; Central Office: Blythelm De Sare, EC compliance specialist; Warren New Tech High School: Angiene Pommells and Kerine Waugh-Lewis, Math teachers; and Kingsley Wray, Science teacher; Northside K-8 School: Lina Quinones, dual immersion co-teacher.
The board approved the following extra-duty assignments for the summer months: Warren County High School: Folami Alston, online facilitator; Cora Boyd, school counselor; Joyce Bullock and Gwendolyn Privett, administrative assistants; and Dr. Keesha Lewis, assistant principal; Central Office: Derrick Fogg, Career and Technical Education coordinator; and Odessa Perry, career development coordinator; WCMS: Dr. Dennis Carrington, assistant principal; Vaughan Elementary School: Gwendolyn Terry, custodian.
The following 2019-20 extra-duty assignments for WCHS were approved: Folami Alston, varsity cheerleading coach; Maurice Crump, assistant football coach; Bryan Fuller, assistant football coach; April Macon, girls’ tennis coach and varsity girls’ basketball coach; Edward Miles, assistant football coach; Paul Plummer, assistant athletic director; Gwendolyn Privett, junior varsity cheerleading coach; Wanda Thompson, athletic director, cross country and golf coach.
Vacancies were reported as follows: Mariam Boyd: fourth-grade teacher, EC pre-kindergarten teacher assistant and custodian; Vaughan Elementary School: first-grade teacher; WCMS/WCHS: Band teacher; WCMS: Health/Physical Education teacher, school counselor, EC teacher and two EC instructional assistants; WCHS: Math teacher, Science teacher, Masonry instructor, CTE Health Science Education teacher, SEMAA project manager, Carpentry teacher, Finance Administration assistant, custodian, two Social Studies teachers and two guidance counselors; WNTHS: Science teacher, Social Studies teacher and two custodians.
During its July 9 meeting, the board of education honored Warren Early College High School for having the best attendance for the ninth school months, at 97.85 percent. The board recognized Warren County High School for having the most improved attendance for the same time period with an increase of 2.39 percent.