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Newport Superintendent Rated Highly by Board of Education, Contract Renewed 4 More Years

The Newport Board of Education went over the report card for Superintendent Kelly Middleton on Wednesday night.

Board chair Ramona Malone outlined seven standards of leadership in which Middleton scored high on five and  received an assessment of "developing" in two, which Malone said was very good and that the board was very pleased with his performance. With that she announced that Middleton's contract was renewed for four more years.

In other business, Finance Director Tete Turner, Jr. reported that the district received two offers of assistance for KETS for technology, one for $13,788, and another for $12,256 which the board accepted and will match by the end of the year. He also recommended that the board accept a debt payment offer of assistance from the School Facilities Construction Commission in the amount of $240,000 which he said was a nice and generous offer, and recommended that the board put the money in escrow for a year and then put it with additional money for another project.

Turner also told the board that he gave them a draft budget for the next fiscal year but said that it was a "shot in the dark" as far as actual figures and recommended waiting until May for a more realistic budget.

The board also approved a revised bid documents for the space reassignment in Newport High School and also approved bid documents for the roof projects at Newport Middle School and Newport High School.

Brian Parrish, from Merrill Lynch, gave the board an update on the Chester Davis fund. Davis was a graduate of Newport High School and upon his death gave the district an amount of money to use for scholarships. Parrish told the board that the fund was perpetual, and even though the board takes out approximately $20,000 a year for scholarships, the bulk of the money, which is in stocks, is not touched.

Several items were listed as surplus property by the board. The new band director, Ian Stokes, came to the board to introduce himself and give an idea of his five-year plan.

The choir from the Newport Middle School came to the board meeting and sang three songs for the board, which were well received.

The school principals adopt a board member in January, for Board Appreciation month, and each one plans a few events to include that board member in their school activities. Then at the board meeting they gave their board member a gift from the whole school. They told the board that they appreciate all the work they do and know that they are on the board for the right reasons.

"We believe in education, and a safe environment and great teachers," said Malone. "That's where our heart is, and it is all about giving back."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Top photo: The principals all adopted a board member for Board appreciation month, and gave them presents from the schools.

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
The Newport Middle school choir performed three songs for the board at the regular meeting.