ROCK HALL — With the school year coming to a close Wednesday and seniors graduating from Kent County High School earlier this month, Grace Boege attended her final meeting as student member of the Board of Education.
Boege said Annie Squire Southworth will be the non-voting student member in the upcoming school year.
“I know she’ll do a fantastic job next year,” Boege said.
Board member Bryan Williams said it has been a privilege having Boege on the board.
Board President Joe Goetz also thanked Boege.
“It seems like it’s been two months, but it’s been a year. It’s been a joy having you here sitting next to us. I can’t say it’s probably always been fun for you — not boring, but thank you,” Goetz said.
In his board report, Williams also praised KCHS alum Kyle Hackett’s address at this year’s graduation ceremony.
“If anybody listened to his speech, it’s pretty much saying that he didn’t have everything in his court,” Williams said. “Through a lot of rejections, he got one break and now he’s a professor at a college. There’s so many people just need a break in life. He got it and hopefully that message gets to the youth to never give up.”
Similarly, board Vice President Trish McGee praised Hackett’s speech as well as all the student speeches, saying they were “clever and not trite.”
Goetz — whose daughter graduated from KCHS and son graduated from Kent County Middle School — said he is exhausted, but grateful for all the work KCPS administration put into make sure students get to walk across the stage at graduation.
“Thank you, coming from the parent side of it, to the administration,” Goetz said.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Tracey Williams, supervisor of student services and secondary education, and Gina Jachimowicz, director of teaching and learning, recommended the board repeal and replace a policy in its educational equity regulations.
The board voted unanimously to do so, though McGee questioned what specifically the district is doing to encourage diversity in the schools.
“How do we know when we’ve done a better job?” McGee asked.
Jachimowicz said the new policy increases accountability and “maps out a clear path” in terms of sharing data regularly with the board.
“I just want to know how we implement this and how we make this happen? How we become closer to what we envision what we can be — what we need to be,” McGee said.
Superintendent Karen Couch said the first step is to implement policy followed by coming up with a strategic plan with goals the district can work toward.
Jachimowicz said there will be long-term goals as well as short-term checks for the district to achieve.
The board also voted to keep the district’s meal prices at $1.55 for breakfast at all schools and $2.50 for lunch at the elementary schools and $2.75 for lunch at the high school.
While the U.S Department of Agricultures’ food/lunch equity calculator recommended a 10-cent increases for lunches, Jane Towers, the district’s supervisor of finance, said KCPS does not need to raise its prices. Towers said this is because the district has funds available in its food service budget.
The board approved a $27,100 donation from the athletic boosters club. The money will help cover the cost of a bathroom trailer at Kent County High School. It also will cover costs to purchase a softball scoreboard.
The board also approved purchasing — with grant money — surveillance cameras for all schools, radios and repeaters, as well as video recording systems for its buses.
Because the Board of Education will not meet again until July 29, there is a short meeting scheduled for 8 a.m. June 25. There is another short meeting tentatively scheduled for July 15. For all meetings, the board will first move into closed session before reconvening in open session.