Troup County School Board Kicks Off the New Year

New school board chairman Kirk Hancock presided over his first regular meeting Monday evening after being elected chair at the previous work session. The normal Thursday meeting last week was postponed till Monday due to icy road conditions.

The board meeting primarily covered the items that have to be done at the beginning of each calendar year.

The board first renewed their annual Board Member Code of Ethics & Conflict of Interest pledge. The Code of Ethics is reviewed and passed each year in January.

A couple of appointments were also made to assign board members to annual positions that work outside the school system.

Former board chair Ted Alford was appointed to be the Troup County Board of Education Representative for the Troup County Parks & Recreation Board.

Kirk Hancock was voted to be the school board Legislative Liaison for 2018.

The board also voted to ratify the Troup County School System strategic plan for the upcoming year. The one-page document outlines strategic planning goals in student achievement, safety, stockholder engagement, and organizational efficiency. The document also lists a number of core beliefs for the improving the school system, including the idea that students should be the primary focus of all decisions.

The plan covered strengths of the school system such as the new facilities, but also highlighted known weaknesses like test scores, graduation rates, and student literacy.

The plan listed several goals, including specific one-year and five-year targets. The school board hopes to improve the overall four year high school graduation rate from its current 77.9 percent to 84 percent by next year and 91 percent after five years. Another priority was to get most Third Grade students reading on grade level by 2021.

The school system regularly keeps an in depth ongoing five year plan, but this simplified document was meant to cover the highlights of the much deeper overall plan.

In other business, the board approved hiring Freeman and Associates as the construction manager for the upcoming Hollis Hand Elementary School Renovations.

Lastly, the board approved the hiring of a new head football coach for LaGrange High School.

Chuck Gibbs was hired as the new Granger head coach and a physical education teacher. Gibbs taught and coached football in Arizona, but grew up locally in the Auburn area. Gibbs is a graduate of the United States Military Academy.