City school FRYSC coordinator resigns

Published 9:58 am Friday, October 20, 2017

The Harlan Independent School Board discussed several topics during a meeting on Thursday, including the need to fill the position of FRYSC coordinator which will soon be vacant.

Superintendent C.D. Morton addressed the board concerning the resignation of FRYSC Coordinator Debbie Howard.

“Sadly, Mrs. Howard has turned in her resignation effective Dec. 1,” Morton said.

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Board member Matt Nunez asked Howard how long she had been in the position. Howard answered since 1991.

“Obviously, this isn’t goodbye,” Morton said. “We’ve got a month, and we’ll have a formal celebration for you at some other point. But, I think I speak on behalf of the board when I say you carried this thing the whole way, and there’s a lot to be said for that.”

Morton said Howard has always worked for the children.

“In the midst of whatever we’re trying to do, she’s always been an advocate for kids,” Morton said. “I appreciate that about her, because I was one of those kids that needed an advocate. We are certainly going to miss you, and cannot thank you enough for what you’ve done for the district.”

Howard also expressed appreciation for the board.

“You all have always been so supportive and encouraging,” Howard said. “It is a privilege to work here.”

Howard’s resignation leaves the board with a position to fill.

Morton explained why it would be preferable to fill the vacancy with a person with a bachelor’s degree.

“The cost of positions go way up when we don’t require a degree,” Morton said. “We have to contribute more, the state doesn’t kick in on some of the fringe benefits.”

Morton said he expected a large pool of applicants from which to choose.

“I think we’ll have candidates that are very interested in this position,” Morton said. “I have very little reservation that maintaining a high level of qualification is going to hurt us. I think it will only help us.”

Following some discussion, Board Chairman Joe Meadors asked Morton for his recommendation. Morton recommended a position for FRYSC coordinator be created with a 240-day annual contract.

The board followed Morton’s recommendation with no opposition.

The board also chose two KSBA Scholarship candidates, one boy and one girl, chosen by a random draw. Brandon Day and Shylar Gross were chosen as the candidates.

In other board activity:

• Morton announced the central office is now located in the former Community Learning Center building behind the high school. The building also formerly housed the Junior High School;

• A salary schedule for the FRYSC coordinator position was approved;

• The sale of school bus No. 03 was approved.