Practice English Speaking&Listening with: VCS School Board Meeting- 06-25 -2019

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- [Attendee] Landing and go out towards the courtyard,

and fanning out so they can go way.

- [Attendee] Who is Paul Mabry?

- [Attendee] Yes, small.

(speaking drowned out)

(bangs gavel)

- [Carl] Good evening, everyone.

Would you please rise and join me

for the Pledge of Allegiance?

- [Group] I pledge allegiance to the Flag

of the United States of America,

and to the Republic for which it stands

one Nation under God, indivisible,

with liberty and justice for all.

- Once again, good evening,

and welcome to another Volusia County School Board meeting.

This'll be our last meeting for the fiscal year,

and glad to see so many people in attendance.

Cannot imagine why so many of you are here tonight,

but it's all good, and we're glad that you're here.

Also glad to have all the people

who are listening through the internet,

as we do stream live,

stream the audio, as well as the visual now, too.

So, once again, glad you're with us.

Like to begin the meeting by introducing

the folks around me, and let me begin

with introducing Ms. Linda Cuthbert,

our School Board Member from District 3.

Next to Ms. Cuthbert, Mr. Ruben Colon,

School Board Member from District 5.

Next to Mr. Colon, our School Board Attorney, Mr. Ted Doran.

On my far right, your left,

that is our Agency Clerk, Ms. Connie Spire.

Next to Ms. Spire, from District 1, Ms. Jamie Haynes,

School Board Member.

Our Vice Chair is Ms. Ida Wright

and she represents District 2 as well.

Our superintendent designee tonight,

let's hear it for Deb Muller,

come on, everybody. (applauding)

It's a tough job but somebody has to do it,

and Deb is here and we're do grateful to have you, Deb.

And my name is Carl Persis and I'm serving as your Chair.

So, once again, glad to have everyone here.

Items for approval this evening,

are items 1.03, 2.02,

3.01, 3.02, 5.01, 7.02,

8.01, 22.01,

24.01 through 24.03, and 26.01.

Our public participation times,

we have time for you to comment

items that are on the consent agenda.

Also for non-ministerial ceremonial resolutions

for board action items.

Then we have a 6:30 certain time,

or shortly thereafter for items of generalist interests,

the public education.

And then also, at the end of the evening

if you'd like to comment,

we reserve some time for that as well.

Our district vision statement

is to ensure all of our students graduate

with a superior education.

And I know we are right in the middle of the summer here,

and schools have been closed for quite some time,

but if there are any board members

that'd like to share any comments, now is the time.

- Yeah. - Ms. Cuthbert.

- Summer's always be busiest time of year,

especially for our facilities department.

I stopped by, we're building a new school,

Chisholm Elementary in New Smyrna.

I was thrilled to death on its progress,

at least from the outside that I can see.

It's so gorgeous, it's all painted now,

it's getting paved, and parking lot, and lighting.

Looks so cool.

I also stopped by Edgewater Public Elementary.

Has new cabinets in their clinic

that were damaged by hurricanes,

it's so nice to see it so nice and clean,

and it's bright and shiny,

especially it's always a good atmosphere

for when children are not feeling well.

And also, my pet project I've had for five years,

there's a new staircase being built,

or altered, at New Smyrna Beach High School

to alleviate the over-crowding of students

going from upstairs to downstairs.

So, hands off our facilities and capital projects.

Thank you.

- Absolutely, yes, yes, yes.

(applauding) Facilities, facilities.

Yes, yes, yes.

Mr. Colon, you had a comment, yes.

- So, though school is out, we had our HOSA students

participating in the International HOSA Competition

this weekend in Orlando, and they placed well.

Some of our newer ones, specifically in my district,

Galaxy Middle, brand new HOSA chapter,

they had students who moved on from districts,

to states, to internationals as well,

so congratulations to all of them

and we're very proud of 'em.

Thank you. - Yeah.

- Thank you for bringing that to our attention.

Anybody else?

Any other comments?

Yes, Ms. Wright.

- I wanna thank, we had elementary,

middle, and high school students participate

in a three week Bee Academy for programming and STEM.

And so, we enjoyed all 68 of the young,

it was all young ladies, 68 young ladies,

elementary, middle, and high school.

- Nice.

Outstanding, outstanding.

How's everything in Charleston, Ms. Haynes?

Everything good? - Actually--

- How's the grandbaby?

- I'm hoping to get up there to hold that baby

but I haven't. (laughing)

But to piggyback off what Ms. Cuthbert said,

at George Marks Elementary,

they have already cleared several of the buildings.

They are no longer there, the kindergarten building is gone

along with a few of the others.

So, there's excitement in that community

about the new school that's going to start being built,

and I have to put a plug in that summer programs

start next Monday, July 1st.

So, all of our students that are attending summer programs,

which I've been getting a lot of the messages

as the principals remind parents

in how to get their bus information,

but I also wanna thank our School Way Cafe,

because once again this year,

they've added additional sites,

and they have summer feeding sites

all across the district at our schools,

and any child, age of 18 or younger just--

- Fantastic.

Particularly when you're with your three year old grandson,

that makes it even better.

All right, now we are down to...

approval of minutes for May 28th,

also the regular session, June 6th,

a workshop work session on June the 11th.

Members have received the copies of the minutes.

Do we have any additions, changes, deletions to the minutes?

Mr. Colon.

- Mr. Chair, I'd like to express discontent

with having views put on the minutes

that were not consistent,

to say that there are board members who were unethical

when the motion, according to our attorney, was in order,

is not something that should be in the record.

And so, I'd like to make a motion

that we approve the original minutes

that were placed on the last agenda

for the meeting for May 28th.

- Okay, just so I can clarify,

and I'm just gonna read, 'cause I believe you're referring

to what Ms. Cuthbert had added to the minutes.

And I have a copy of it here.


it says, and Ms. Cuthbert, you correct me if I misspeak,

"Ms. Cuthbert spoke in support of the superintendent

"and presented a list of duties and responsibilities

"that are required of any Volusia County

"School Board superintendent.

"She stated that she felt some board members

"acted unethically, and stated that financial

"irresponsibility of the motion

"as well as the irrational decision

"to make this motion just before

"the 2018, 19 school year's end.

"She asked her colleagues to reconsider the motion."

I believe that summarized your point.

You've heard the concern from Mr. Colon,

do I have any comments from other board members?

I will let you know how I feel,

and then please chime in.

I think, Mr. Colon, if this was just

a reflection of minutes, just minutes by Connie,

and just said that it didn't say who said it,

but just said those words,

that it was acted unethically and stated blah, blah,

I think that would be wrong,

because we don't characterize things in general.

Are attributed just to that board member,

it was, it's her feeling, it's just her feeling,

it's not the reflection of how the board felt,

but she has a right to her feeling.

Obviously, that motion did not pass,

and so forth and so on.

Mr. Doran, is that my correct in that characterization?

- Yes, I think that's a fair characterization.

I mean, it's up to the board as to what is in the minutes.

It doesn't have to be in the minutes,

but I think the way you've characterized it is appropriate.

The board's not saying that anyone acted unethically.

- Right.

- What they're saying in the minutes

is that one board member expressed that concern.

- She said those exact words, she said those exact words.

- And so then, my question is,

are my feelings also categorized,

are spoken to in the minutes?

And so, that's a slippery slope,

because now we're going into feelings.

- No, no, no, no, we're going into

your exact words that you said.

Just the words that you said,

and then we attribute it just to your words,

it doesn't mean that's the feeling of the board.

- Has that been the practice of the board--

- Yeah-- - Previously?

- Practice of the board would be to quote

whoever made a comment accurately.

- And so, I would argue that it's not accurate

because the motion was in order.

This is public record. - Well, yeah.

- And to say that something was done unethically

when it truly was not and it was in order,

that's my concern.

And so, I've made a motion.

- I get it.

I get it.

Okay, let's deal on Mr. Colon's motion first to...

not accept the minutes that we have in front of us,

but to go back to the original minutes.

So, I have a motion to that effect.

Is there a second?


- I'll second it, and this is why.

- Okay.

- If you go back and listen to the original audio tape

from when Ms. Cuthbert read the list,

what is caught in this minutes

is what she said at the last meeting

that she wanted changed,

it's not actually what was said

in the meeting where she read the list.

So, some of the language is different.

And so, my thought is, if Connie was gonna change

the minutes I would have purposely gone back

and listened to the audio and captured it

exactly what she said in the audio,

not what she said at the last meeting,

that she wanted it changed to.

Because you're taking what she said at the last meeting

and changing the minutes from the meeting prior,

and the words don't match.

- Okay, fair enough.

Connie, can you help us out with this.

Are these the words from the May 28th meeting,

or are these the words that Ms. Cuthbert used

at the last meeting when she objected to the minutes?

- [Connie] I thought they were

the same words at both meetings.

I can re-listen to the minutes.

- Okay, all right.

I think we need to clarify that

so that we have an accurate account of the minutes

and we're not putting words in your mouth.

Okay, Ms. Cuthbert?

- I have a copy of what I said.

I'll take a quote from my copy.

- Okay, fair enough.

All right, then in that case,

why don't we once again move on,

and we will table the minutes of May 28th

until we get 'em accurately,

and do I have a motion to approve the minutes

from the other two meetings, which were again,

so you'll have a June 6th,

and the meetings and workshops from June 11th.

Do I have a motion for that effect?

I wanna have a motion now, since--

- Yes, I make a motion to approve the June 6th

and June 11th workshop minutes.

- Thank, and Mr. Colon second.

- Second. - Thank you.

All those in favor signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- And all opposed.

And those minutes are approved.

Agenda changes.

- Yes.

Mr. Chair, we do have several requested changes

for tonight in the agenda.

Per the request of Ms. Morrissey

so that the Town of Pierson representative

can be in attendance tonight,

we'll be moving items 24.01 and 24.02

to take place immediately, following item 3.02.

There will be an opportunity for public participation

before a vote is called on items 24.01 and 24.02.

We will also be moving item

22.01 administrative appointments

to take place immediately following item 24.02,

and there will be an opportunity for public participation

before the administrative appointments are announced.

It was also brought to our attention earlier today

that the approval of the proposed.

03 on this agenda, and there will be an opportunity

for public participation on this item

before the vote is called.

- Thank you.

You've heard the changes to the agenda,

is everyone in agreement there?

- Yes. - okay, thank you.

And we are moving on to item--

- Mr. Chair. - Yes?

- And so, I wanted to,

on the agenda with the Pierson property--

- Yes.

- On 4/9 we had that pulled of the consent agenda

because the board had not been notified

of any of the details.

On 4/18 there was an article in the news journal,

and also talk on shows, in other words,

it's of public concern.

On May 8th, I took a tour of the Pierson property,

and was able to see for myself

exactly what had gone on.

On the 24th, each of us met

with Ms. Morrissey to discuss it,

at the time there was no discussion

other than the fact that we were waiting for an appraisal.


On the 29th, I made it a point to meet

with some of the stakeholders who are looking

to utilize this property so that I could learn

what exactly their plans were.

On May 30th, there was an appraisal

that was delivered to Ms. Morrissey.

Since then, any of the information of the new appraisal,

and any happenings after our meeting on the 24th,

there had been no further discussion on this.

On 6/19 I noticed, because I checked the agenda,

that this item had been placed on the agenda again,

arguably with two business days

for the public to have known

that this was going to be on the agenda.

I will say that I am not,

currently don't have a position,

and I'm not necessarily opposed to selling the property,

however, I believe that we should have the opportunity

to workshop this so that we can talk about it.

I spoke to the superintendent on Thursday of last week,

and he indicated that it's always been practice

to have the discussion here,

and we'll talk about it here,

and they'll do whatever it is we decide.

However, the recommendation on record

from the superintendent, who is not present today,

is that we go ahead and sell this property,

prior to the discussion even being had.

And so, I'm thankful for the folks

who have come out to support this project,

and believe it or not, I support it,

however, in the interest of the public

and the perception of the public,

and having information, if there had been

a PowerPoint attached to this

that described why we're selling a property

at 4% of its appraised value at best use,

then if we had a discussion

then that would be fair to vote on it tonight,

but to simply have a...

To have put this on the agenda two days ago

and go through with a vote,

I think that that may potentially put the board

at a distrust of the public,

because that is not necessarily transparent.

And so, I'd like to table that item.

And I'll solicit the feedback of my peers.

- Okay, we have a motion to table.

That doesn't need a second.

- Right.

- So, that doesn't need a second,

so all those in favor of tabling the item 'til--

- We get more-- - 'Til July.

- For workshop.

- 'Til our July workshop on the 22nd.

So, let's make that into motion then.

- So, I make a motion that we table that

until our workshop on the 22nd,

and then we can take it up

with all the stakeholders at that time.

- Okay, so, there's a motion to table.

It does not need a second.

Anybody have a question about the intent of the motion?


Okay, all those in favor to table signify by saying aye.

- Aye. - Aye.

- And all those opposed?

- Aye. - Aye.

- Yeah, I'll oppose.

I think we should just look at (muffled).

- All right, so the motion fails on a three to two vote.

Ms. Wright, Ms. Cuthbert, myself were opposed,

and Ms. Haynes and Mr. Colon in favor.

- All right, we are now down to,

we just moved to change the agenda,

I need a motion to approve the agenda as it's been changed.

- Mr. Chair, I move that we approve our amended agenda.

- Okay, great. - Second.

- Thank you, and a second from Ms. Wright.

All those in favor signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- And opposed.

And the motion carries.

We're now down to item 3.01,

this is Mr. Russell's severance package,

and I believe everyone has received it.

And Mr. Doran, do you have any comments,

or do you wanna present in any way?

- Mr. Chair, would you like for me to summarize it, or just?

- Well, I would say this,

I think everyone has seen it,

and anyone have any questions for Mr. Doran about it?

Then if we don't have any questions I would take a motion.

- Motion to approve the superintendent contract for Mr.--

- No, yeah, severance.

Severance. - Oh, were we at?

- Yeah.

And do I have a second? - Second.

- Second from Ms. Wright.

Any questions?

All those in favor signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- Those opposed. - Aye with regret.

- Aye with regret.

And the motion carries.

We're now on to item 3.02, consideration and approval

of the administration on assignment/superintendent contract.

Is that how we're wording it now, Mr. Doran, I see. (laughs)

This is another contract I think everyone has seen,

had time to review.

Ask any questions.

I just wanna add that I appreciate

how quickly this occurred with Mr. Egnor.

There was not a whole lot of disagreement,

and we quickly put this together

in a very positive manner.

Without any questions, then do I have a motion to approve?

- Motion to approve contract.

- Thank you, Mr. Colon.

- Second. - Second from Ms. Wright.

All those in favor of the motion

signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- And those opposed?

And the motion is approved.

I'd like for Mr. Egnor to please stand and face the audience

and we welcome you to the Volusia County School District.


(sighs heavily)

Take a breath now, okay.

All right, we are at a public participation

concerning non-ministerial ceremonial resolutions.

Is there any public about item 5.01?

- We're moving-- - Moving into--

- Oh, I'm sorry.

We had the changes and I approved them

and now I forgot about 'em.

I'm sorry.

Keep me straight up here.

All right, we are on item now, 24.01,

which is the resolution, declaring a portion

of the old Pierson Elementary School as surplus,

the motion we just approved.

I think everyone has had a great deal of information.

Ms. Morrissey, did you--

- Is there public participation before this, or?

- Yes.

Before, or after.

- I just didn't know if I should come up.

- We just wanna make sure,

if there's any public comment on this one item.

- [Woman] Pierson?

- Yes, okay, great.

I'm sorry.

Yes, Mr. Doug, is it Pettit?

- Pettit. - Pettit, I'm sorry.

Good evening, Mr. Pettit.

- Good evening.

Where should I--

- You can sit in the middle.

This way the camera will get you

really good there, you know?

- Board Members, I'm not here to dispute

the sale of the Pierson property,

I'm here to talk about the process.

As I found out today when preparing my remarks,

three minutes is not a lot of time,

so I will speak quickly.

The recent failure of the half-cent sales tax proposal

highlighted a monumental distrust of government

by the residents of this county.

Unfortunately, the Volusia County School District

is not immune from this sentiment.

With that in mind, then, we have the sale of the property

of the former Pierson Elementary School.

This item was previously presented to the board

concealed in a consent agenda,

and only through the diligence

of some of the school board members

was it forced into consideration as a separate line item.

At that time, there had been no appraisal on the property,

at least not offered to public view,

and now we find out today that the one that is here

isn't offered to public view.

And no public offering for sale,

yet, a price had been determined.

That a transaction of this nature

would have been hidden in a consent agenda,

requiring little or no accountability

certainly seems to validate

the taxpayers' perspectives of mistrust.

Again today, we find the property on the agenda

with the intention of being sold.

In reviewing the school district website

as recently as this afternoon

there were three items of property for sale on the site,

complete with market analysis,

and none of them were the Pierson Elementary School site.

So, my questions to you today are these.

How in the world does a real estate transaction

regarding district-owned,

and I might add, taxpayer-owned,

property get slipped into an agenda item

that does not require separate review or accountability?

If you're proceeding with the sale, where's the appraisal?

We find out now there is one but no one's seen it.

What efforts have been made

to offer this property for sale on the open market?

If the intention is to move

and declare the property surplus, what are the criteria?

In declaring a property surplus,

there would seem to be a need

or to have efforts to sell the property

and failing to sell on the open market

then declare it surplus.

And there is rhetorical information

that a memorandum of understanding exists

for the sale of the property.

If so, where is this memorandum?

Who authorized it?

Who signed off on it?

Is an instrument of this nature

considered valid when dealing with property

owned by a school district?

And was the memorandum notarized when it was signed?

Any memorandum that is not notarized

would seem to be invalid

because the implication is that it could have been

put together just recently in order to support

the sale of this asset.

I know that I represent many Volusia County taxpayers

concerned about the conduct of this transaction,

and as a taxpayer of Volusia County,

I'm gonna look at each of you directly

and remind you that it is your responsibility

to be stewards of the property

and assets provided to you.

In conclusion let me state,

this is not the first time under the leadership

of the current director for planning

that this school district has sold property

without appraisal or proper oversight.

It is stunning to me that one person in this school district

would have such power to operate

without transparency or accountability.

For that reason then, this evening I am requesting

that the school board immediately request--

(timer beeping)

The resignation of director of planning--

- Mr. Pettit, we'll have to leave it at that

'cause your time is up. - Okay.

- I thank you for coming forward.

- Thank you very much.

- Do we have any other public on this topic?

Okay, then the public participation portion

will be considered ended, and now staff presentation.

- [Woman] You have a file.

- Good evening, Mr. Chairman,

members of the board, Ms. Muller.

With me tonight is the Chairman

of the Town Council of Pierson, Mr. Sam Bennett,

and to my left is Mr. Alex Ford,

who is our legal counsel for real estate transactions

with the firm of Landis, Graham, and French.

On your agenda, and I know on behalf of Mr. Bennett,

and I know he'll speak shortly,

the town appreciates the agenda change,

as they have their own

town council meeting tonight at seven.

You have two items, and I'd like to present information

that relates to both items as just part

of the overall presentation,

and then just ask that the motions be separated

for each of those two agenda items.

So, this item that is before you

includes a resolution, declaring a portion

of the old Pierson Elementary as surplus,

meaning it's no longer necessary for educational purposes,

and that pursuant to Florida Statutes 1013.28 paren one.

The Interlocal Agreement

for Public School Facility Planning,

which is the board's agreement

with all of the municipalities and the county,

that the board proceed to dispose of that portion

of the old Pierson to the Town of Pierson,

and work on the agreement of sale and purchase,

which is that second item, 24.02.

So, I'd like to speak about what we've done

regarding this transaction,

and some particulars of the contract.

This is actually an item that has been in discussion

for many, many years, and that is because we initiated

the design and permitting of the new Pierson back in 2008.

And it was during the Public School Facility Planning,

which does include a provision that we, your staff,

are required to notify the local government,

the affected local government,

when we will be closing a school,

and, or, declaring property surplus,

and discussing with them

the future of that piece of property,

and giving them the opportunity

to express interest, and possibly even a sale.

So, always when we are disposing,

or preparing to either close a school

or declare a property as surplus,

we will have a conversation with the local government,

in this case, it's the Town of Pierson.

There's been many times since 2008

where I've been in attendance at town council meetings

where either the discussion of the new school

or the discussion of the old school has taken place.

But certainly in 2008, we did obtain an appraisal in 2008,

I have referenced it in my memo,

that is part of your board agenda item.

And we began conversations about a potential sale.

That 2008 appraisal,

and this is from an appraised value standpoint,

it is somewhat complicated to determine a value.

You have an unusual piece of property,

in that it is an old school.

Many buildings, 12 buildings on the portion

that we're talking about tonight.

Those buildings range in age from 1925

to the early 1980.

And they all range in their condition,

from a building standpoint and their systems,

and whether or not they meet ADA,

and any other current building code issues.

In 2008, the appraisal indicated a value for the buildings,

which was based on the cost approach,

which doesn't take into account all those issues

that I just mentioned, and it was just slightly over

$3 million for the building.

However, that appraisal also referenced

what they considered the fair-market value to be,

which was as raw land,

because the buildings, the nature that they are,

combined with their location,

which is in one of our more rural,

very low population community,

have no real value to anyone other than a school.

So, the fair-market value in 2008

was determined to be $410,000,

which was based on a commercial land use,

and a commercial zoning.

And this property does not have

commercial land use or commercial zoning,

this property is designated public institutional.

As you know, we had to stop the design, and permitting,

and impending construction on the new Pierson

because of the recession and what happened to our cashflow.

So, now we move forward to 2016

when we started working on the new Pierson,

which we just opened this last school year,

and we began conversations again with the.

To you when I met with you,

we did tour several other...

The library, the...

The hospital, Food Brings Hope,

they went on a tour.

They were only considered whether or not

at some future unknown date

they could operate out of it.

The contract that's in front of you,

as well as the methodology that we used to negotiate it

was based on what we did for the sale

of Hurst Elementary to the County of Volusia,

which that contract, and Mr. Ford assisted in that effort,

that contract was in front of the previous board

in March of 2016, and that board did approve that contract.

That methodology was based on land value

as determined by our Volusia County

Property Appraiser's office.

And so, we followed that same methodology for this,

and that is the sales price

that is referenced in your contract, $73,056.

Only for the portion that they would acquire.

We did obtain in 2019, appraisal,

and this information is also summarized in the memo

that is in your board packet.

This appraisal is slightly different,

but not in its premise that there is no market,

that there are very few

real estate transactions in the area,

and it did indicate the same thing,

that fair-market value is based on land value.

In this instance, however,

the land value was estimated at $135,000,

and the cost to demo the buildings was included

because the fair-market value is based on raw land.

So, that value was $21,000.

The same approach was used for buildings,

a cost approach, which again,

doesn't necessarily reflect

what a future user might have to do,

it really reflects the value if we were using it,

and that value is slightly more that $2 million.

Like I mentioned, the agreement follows the methodology

and the language very similar to what was used

for the sale of Hurst to the county.

I want to point out that the agreement does restrict usage.

The agreement restricts usage to public uses,

semi-public uses, non-profits and that no.


Also similar to the sale of Hurst,

we have instructional materials being stored

in classroom building 10.

That was something that was not known previously

because we moved those last summer

when we decided to reuse

the old middle school building at Taylor

for Taylor Middle-High School.

This agreement provides that the district

can continue to use building 10,

as well as the media center indefinitely

for what we are currently using it for.

Once a closing would actually occur,

and the town does have 60 days to do due diligence,

the town would be responsible for the utility cost.

Now, let me just talk a minute about utilities

because that is also unusual about this property.

We've got electric, we've got water, we've got waste water.

The unusual aspect here is the waste water

because the school board owns the waste water plant

in the Town of Pierson,

and the only entities that are connected

to the waste water plant are our schools.

And we are not in the business

of being a public provider for waste water services,

and we have expressed concern

both from that standpoint,

as well as capacity of the system,

because we do want to make sure that we maintain

capacity of the system for the two schools,

and as the two schools may grow in the future.

So, this agreement provides

only for two years of waste water connection,

at which time the town would need

to install a septic system.

And so, that is a considerable cost.

And that is not reflected

in any of the appraisal information.

At this point I'm going to conclude my comments.

I think Mr. Bennett would like to make a few comments,

and certainly if Mr. Ford needs to articulate anything

that I have not mentioned.

- Thank you, Ms. Morrissey.

Mr. Bennett, welcome.

- [Sam] Thank you.

I'd first like to take this opportunity, Mr. Chairman,

to thank you and board members

that have voted in support of moving.

The attendance at a town meeting,

which I will be chairing that meeting.

So, thank you, thank you all

for allowing me to be here this evening.

As Saralee mentioned, we go way back,

it's been over 10 years

that we started having this conversation of this property

being used for a town hall, or town complex.

And so, I let Saralee know, as chairman of the Town Council,

that we did have an interest in it

back many, many years ago.

And then of course, as she stated,

things with the recession,

and different things that changed and.

Share also with the board, and to reflect and remember

that one reason that you built a new

Pierson Elementary School in Pierson,

which it's a beautiful campus, state of the art.

Thank you for the beautiful new school.

That was built because these buildings

do not meet the current building code,

and there's problems that come into play there.

We are primarily interested in the property.

We know that there's gonna be expense

in doing what we're, if this is approved,

to have a town center there.

But I would ask the board for your consideration in this.

And again, this is something that we've worked on

and talked about for years.

And to give you a little even further history

of the relationship that the Town of Pierson has had

with the Volusia County School Board,

I know the 30 years that I've served on the board,

back when the construction of T. Dewitt Taylor High,

there was a drawing and a need of additional properties

to complete, to scale.

And we had a city street, newly paved.

We were happy to give that.

Help facilitate and complete the campus of T. Dewitt Taylor.

Also, the football fields, Swanson Fields, they were called,

that property was donated to the school board.

That was before my time, I can't really speak and give you.

That was before my time,

I had been on there for a few years,

but I don't go back that far.


So, if this is approved, it'll be a opportunity

for you to do something

not only good for the Town of Pierson,

but for all of the people in our area.

It will be a benefit to the people in our community,

and as we're happy and pleased

to also put in, as a deed restriction,

that it could not be used for public education.

We do not wanna be in the business

of having a school, but we do wanna have

a nice city complex, and this location would serve us well.

So, I wanna thank you again for your kindness

in letting me speak here this evening.

- Thank you, Mr. Bennett.

And Mr. Ford, is there any legal issue

that we have skipped over? - No legal issue.

I do think maybe there was a clarification

of something Ms. Morrissey said.

I believe the property appraiser land value

is $78,000, or whatever it was.

They also, I think, show improvements,

but I think she was trying to emphasize the land value.

- Yes.

- Okay.

All right, thank you for that.

Stay here in case any board member has a question.

Any questions for the presenters?

Ms. Cuthbert first and then Mr. Colon.

- So, much like what we do,

we work hand in hand with our municipalities.

Our athletic, I guess stadiums,

and complexes, we work with the City of New Smyrna,

we just approved one with the City of Ormond Beach earlier.

My husband taught at Pierson High School before my time,

'67 to '70, that's long before I was born, of course.


Pierson has always been, I think,

a hidden gem in our county,

and it's nice that we work together

because it is for the public good,

not for the private good, but for the public good.

So, my district, which is Southeast Volusia,

is very happy to work with Northwest Volusia.

Thank you. - Thank you.

- Thank you, Ms. Cuthbert.

Mr. Colon.

- So, what I said earlier had to do with our process.

Having been out there, having seen the school,

having learned what the potential uses are gonna be,

for me, it came down to math.

And so...

the property came back appraised at its best use

at $2 million of such, and we are keeping

about half the property, in the back side,

with our fuel tanks and all of that.

And so, let's just go down the middle

and say a million dollars, it's what's left.

According to Ms. Morrissey, the cost of putting

a septic in there could range about $500,000,

so we're at $500,000, that's what it may cost you,

and having toured that property I can tell you,

there's a lot of work that needs to be done.

With that being said, I have also learned

what the stakeholders would like to do

for the Town of Pierson, the people of Pierson,

and I actually support that.

My discontent was with our process, not.

Of the public, we are selling this property

for how much, Saralee?

- The cash transaction would be $73,056,

and then the consideration would include

the ability for us to continue to operate

out of building 10 and the media center,

and to not pay the utilities.

So, depending on how long we're up there,

that value ranges, but roughly $2,000 a month,

and so, could be--

- And so, with that being said--

- And then the deed restriction.

The deed restriction, the waste water plant issue,

which you mentioned the septic tank, and yeah.

- So, with that being said,

I actually do support the project.

I support what this is going to do for the Town of Pierson,

whose current town hall is inside of a bank.

I think that the community having a place to meet,

having a place to grow is important to a community.

And so, for that reason, I support this sale.

- [Sam] Thank you.

- Ms. Haynes.

- So, Mr. Bennett, when I met you a little while ago,

I shared with you that my issue

is not with you or the Town of Pierson.

I love your community, and if I lived there

I would never leave, because it's a unique community.

My issue tonight, still, is with our process.

So, we finally received an email with the appraisal,

but that email was not even sent to us

until after the BoardDocs had been posted,

and we received it Thursday.

Is still not posted for the public to see.

So, my job is to make sure

that what we're going to consider and vote on

is available for the public to view in a timely manner.

And it's not posted.

It was sent to us via email last Thursday afternoon,

but it's still not posted for the public to view it,

and so, I have no issue with you, sir, okay?

And I love your community and I love what you're doing.

My issue is with the process,

or lack of process and procedures that have been followed

to bring this to this point

to declare half of this property surplus,

and in addition, to come up with the sale price

without being open and honest with the community.

And so, I'm in possession of a document

that the community's not seen.

So, we're hearing it being spoken about,

but that doesn't even allow the community

to give input tonight about it

because our process is broken.

We're trying to live with,

this is the way we've always done something,

so this is the way we've done it,

and I understand I'm new on the board,

so sometimes it's said,

"Well, you're new, so you don't know

"what we did in 2016 with Hurst."

It doesn't matter if I know or not,

every member sitting in this audience,

every member listening,

every member that will read about this in the newspaper,

they have a right to know ahead of time

what we're going to do and what we're going to talk about

and how the decision came to be

that it ended up here for us to vote on.

I am happy to hear that, and I thank you,

for allowing building 10 and the media center

to continue to be used for the purposes

for Volusia County Schools.

The individuals that manage those materials

in that building, those materials have been moved

nine times in the last few years.

I would not like to hear that again.

But I do have a few questions even about that.

So, if you're gonna allow us

to continue to use building 10 and the media center

to store summer program materials and things such as that,

are we then paying that part of the electric bill?

Because that's not clear in here.

And is the electricity gonna be on for those individuals?

'Cause there's been times this past year

where people have gone up there to work,

and even though we were promised

climate-controlled storage in those buildings,

there's been no air on in those buildings.

The bathrooms have not been stocked.

Those individuals going in there to work

have had to take their own toilet paper,

soap, and paper towels.

So, I have questions even about that,

and that's why I voted, actually, to do a workshop on it,

because I had a lot of questions

because what we've been given

is just this little tiny piece of information

without all of the questions being answered,

or without a timeline and what's gonna happen,

and those are our employees that we're sending out there,

and I feel that they deserve to know

what's gonna happen to them, but it's not there.

And so, I have no issue with you,

I have no issue with, I mean, several years ago

we talked about the town hall coming in.

At that time, we were talking about

leasing the space to you, not selling it,

so I was surprised when it flipped to a sale.

But when I look at what you're taking over,

which buildings are you going to use?

- [Sam] Well, right now the main building

that we would like, if we're able to at some point,

with the improvements that need to be made,

is the older building that was constructed,

I think, in 1926.

- The front office with the auditorium?

- Yes. - Okay.

Is that the only building you're gonna use

out of all of the acreage you're purchasing,

or wanting to purchase?

- [Sam] We, I believe as a town,

that would be the town hall,

and then the other areas could be utilized

in the community, and bring services that are not there now.

But for right now, it would be primarily

to acquire the property,

and to use just the older building

that was constructed, I believe, around 1926.

- So, do you have any plans at this time,

or already have individuals lined up

to use any of the other buildings?

- [Sam] I have met with some different people,

but I thought that was premature to go any further

because the property's owned

by the Volusia County School Board.

But if the town does acquire the property,

then we will move forward and look at different folks

that have an interest that could bring service

to people that live in our area.

And again, it's location, and it would just be a benefit

to everyone in the community.

But for right now, primarily,

it's just for the consideration right now,

because we are limited in our budget,

it would be to work for transitioning

the front offices and auditorium into a town hall.

- Okay, thank you.

So, Mrs. Morrissey.

Who's gonna pay the electric bill

if we stay in building 10 and the media center?

Is that the responsibility if we sell the property

to the City of Pierson?

Is that their responsibility?

Is that still our responsibility?

And who's going to ensure that the people

that are going up there to work have air

and have necessities that are needed

to be able to spend a full day up there working?

- The way the contract is written,

the intention was that we would

transfer the service to the town.

And as I said, the bills roughly, right now,

are around $1,500 to $2,000 depending on usage.

And I know of what you speak

because we need a schedule,

and so, we've talked to Title One about

when somebody is working up there,

because as you know, the difference between

the air conditioning being for occupancy

versus the air conditioning being on

to protect materials, we do change that to save money.

So, we haven't worked well together so far

to get a schedule, but that would be part

of what we would need to do in order to ensure

that it's an acceptable temperature of occupancy.

- So--

- And we would have to do the custodial.

- So, when you say the bill currently is

between $1,500 and $2,000, you're talking about though,

for the entire property.

You're talking about the area that you're going to maintain

for the bus drivers in those buildings,

you're talking about the fuel depot in that area.

So, you're talking about a total of what it is.

So, we're talking about having one go to one electric meter,

another part go to another electric--

- Well, right now everything is on one meter,

and until such time, if this moves forward

and once the town figures out

whether they're just using one building or...

They don't really have a plan developed

that has timing and everything,

at some point, I would anticipate,

I don't know this for fact,

we would maybe set our own electric meter

just for our portion.

But right now...

It's more advantageous to us

to not have to set those meters and separate service

and continue to operate the way it is right now,

and in the short term,

they don't have significant usage planned,

so it would stay the way it is.

- So, the bill would continue to come to us?

- No, the bill would be the town's.

- But we would pay the bill?

- No, we would transfer the service to the town.

- For the entire 10 acres?

- That's what the agreement has in it right now.

- And the town's gonna be responsible

for paying the $2,000 a month electric bill?

- Mm-hmm.


- So, they're gonna pay for where our bus drivers

and our fuel depot and building 10,

they're going to pay for that?

We're not going to pay for that?

- Not unless we change something.

- So, Mr. Bennett, I know what your town budget is.

Can you financially take on the responsibility

for paying the electricity for all of those buildings

that are being utilized,

along with what you're going to utilize?

- [Sam] I think temporarily,

if that's what we need to do to complete this consideration

of this transaction, yes.


That's true.

We have a limited budget.

But then again, I do have...

I believe that there's a lot of good people

within this school board and the school system,

and I think that we can work together

and we can make this work.

I'm not worried about the electric bill

for those buildings at this time.

- One of the provisions that's in the contract,

they do get a 60-day inspection period,

due diligence period, and if they would decide

after the 60 days that they either

don't wanna pursue the contract,

or there'd be a significant request to amend,

that would be something we'd have to deal with

after the 60 days.

- And that would come back before this board?

- If they just don't want to pursue,

it's a termination, doesn't come back.

If there's a request to amend--

- If it's amended.

- That would have to come back, yes.

- [Sam] That would be agreeable.

- Okay.

Ms. Wright.

- So, I just want to,

'cause one of our speakers asked some questions,

and I just want you to clarify, Saralee,

when it comes to school board property,

we have a local end agreement with our municipalities,

am I correct? - Correct.

- And normally they get the first right of refusal?

- Yes.

- And if they need the property,

then we do try to, again, because it's all taxpayer dollars,

if we're gonna use it for the public,

then we do come up with a price that is below that

of the fair-market value often, like Hurst.

- Like Hurst is a great example of realizing

there's a public interest and a public benefit

that doesn't necessarily get reflected

just based on economic principles.

I know that the board is aware,

we just closed on a transaction of raw land,

and each property is somewhat unique.

When we have these properties

that have old school buildings on them,

it is very difficult to find a reuse,

or a new use for it with the buildings.

The intent here, is recognizing, again,

the social, political, public value in working

with public resources and sharing them together.

The property that we just closed on

in Edgewater was raw land,

was extremely marketable, had lots of interest,

and we did talk with the Town of Edgewater

because they were interested in it,

but because there were so many

other competing interests there,

and they did not want to pay the market value there.

And it's raw land, much easier piece.

We try to work with our local governments,

that is what 163 tells us to do,

and that is what the interlocal agreement tells us to do.

And the interlocal agreement was executed in 2007.

- Ms. Wright, go ahead.

- Yeah, and so, just to follow up,

to be clear, that was the purpose?

Because we really did have a private interest

in this property, am I correct?

- I've had no private interest in this property.

- Okay.

And so, the last question.

That the city is not able to resell that

for a major profit, say, five years from now,

10 years from now?

- It's got restrictive uses in it.

It doesn't say the city can't sell it,

but it has deed restrictions on use.

So, it cannot be a commercial venture.

- Okay, that's it, thank you.

- Thank you, and Mr. Colon.

We'll try to wrap this up here.

- So, the waste water,

how soon before they have to come off of our waste water?

Is that dictated in the contract?

- The agreement calls for two years

from the date of closing.

- Okay.

And so, are they paying us for the use of waste water, or--

- No. - No.

And so, arguably then, we could say that

the electricity bill and the waste water,

arguably, may end up being a wash.

You mentioned the City of Edgewater

and wanting the property,

however, there were competing,

there were other folks who wanted it for other things.

Has this property been put up

so that other folks who potentially wanted

to do something with it would be able to know

that it was available?

- This property is vacant, but there is no posting

because we've been working with the town for so long.

- And so, like at Edgewater, and I like that example,

there were competing interests.

And so, yes, I believe that the right of first refusal

was that of the city, but again,

we have never put this up so that a church.

You know, I support this, only because I'm not gonna

hold the town and the people of Pierson harmless

to what I believe is something

that we need to look at internally,

and I know that we are going to be looking at that.

I do believe this is gonna be good

for the people of Pierson who currently,

like I said, have nowhere for their kids

to come and hang out on a weekend, be fed,

and so, that's why I support it.

- Thank you. - Thank you.

- Okay, board members, we have two items.

This is a two part thing here,

so the first one is 24.01, declaring a portion

of the old Pierson Elementary as surplus.

Do I have a.

- Make the recommendation.

(laughing) - Sorry, Deb.

- No problem.

- (laughs) Ms. Muller.

- I recommend on behalf of the superintendent

the approval of resolution 2019-19,

declaring a portion of the property

at the old Pierson Elementary as surplus,

and working with the Town of Pierson on a purchase

and sale agreement. - Thank you.

Okay, and Ms. Wright, you still made the motion.

- So moved.

- And did someone second it?

I missed it-- - Second.

- If someone did.

Ms. Cuthbert.

All those in favor of the motion

signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- Those opposed?

The motion carries unanimously.

Ms. Muller.

- And we have number 24.02, the contract.

And on behalf of the superintendent,

I recommend the approval of the agreement for purchase

and sale with the Town of Pierson

for the sale of a portion

of the old Pierson Elementary School property.

- You've heard the recommendation,

do I have a motion? - So moved.

- Thank you, Mr. Colon. - Second.

- Second by Ms. Wright.

All those in favor of the motion signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- Those opposed?

And the motion carries unanimously.

Mr. Bennett, you better get to Pierson.

You got 26 minutes.

- Congratulations. - Go.

- Thank you again-- - You're welcome.

- For this consideration. - Thank you.

- Thank you. - You're welcome.

All right, now we're on 3.0...

I'll get it.

We are now on administrative assignments.

So, our Chief Human Resources Official,

Ms. Dana Paige-Pender is here for this exciting time

of the school board meeting.

- Yes. - Yes, indeed.

- Good evening, Chairman Persis,

School Board Members, Ms. Muller--

- And kinda pull that microphone,

'cause I know that people wanna hear these names.

- (laughs) And just before I jump into appointments

I wanted to give a brief update

on where we are in the process.

- Thank you, thank you.

We always like your updates.

- If you're out there looking,

you'll notice that there are just over

200 vacancies out there.

We are excited-- - how many?

Say it again. - About 200--

- 200.

- That are posted out there right now.

We're excited.

We actually have worked out the details

with, so every six hours

they're hitting our website,

taking our postings and they're blasting them out,

so if someone doesn't necessarily know

to look for Volusia County, Florida,

they will find it anyway if they're looking

for instructional positions

because we will pop up, we're out there.

There are 367 instructional personnel

that have processed through the entire process,

that includes some transfers to different schools

but also new hires.

There are 103 that are currently in the process.

- So, 103, but even if those were

processed through the system,

we still have 200 vacancies after that?

- That are out there that are advertised right now.

- Okay, just wanna clarify.

Yeah, thank you.

Moving, but wish we're moving faster, you know?

We wanna get it done.

Okay, go on.

- So, at this time, I would like to present

the superintendent's recommendation

for assistant principal transfers.

Mr. Chester Boles from DeLand Middle School

to assistant principal at University High School.

- On behalf of the superintendent,

I recommend approval of the assistant principal transfers.

- Thank you.

You've heard the recommendation.

Do I have a motion?

- So moved.

- Ms. Wright, thank you.

Was that a second, Ms. Cuthbert?

- Second, yes.

- All those in favor of the motion signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- Those opposed?

And the motion carries unanimously.


- I'm pleased to present

the superintendent's recommendations

for assistant principal appointments,

and if the individuals could stand

when I call their names.

Dr. Catherine Cortes from teacher on assignment

at Citrus Grove Elementary to assistant principal

at Blue Lake Elementary School.

Dr. Cortes began her career

with Volusia County Schools in 1989.

Mr. William Goldsmith, currently assistant principal

with Orange County Public Schools

to the position of assistant principal

at Freedom Elementary School.

Mr. Goldsmith began his teaching career

in the Orlando area in 2007.

And Ms. Heather Iannarelli from instructional lead

at Holly Hills School K-8

to ESE assistant principal of Holly Hills School,

and I know she was not able to attend this evening.

Ms. Iannarelli began her career

with Volusia County Schools in 1999.

- Thank you.

- On behalf of the superintendent,

I recommend approval of the assistant principal

administrative appointments.

- Thank you.

You've heard the recommendation, do I have a motion?

- So moved. - Thank you, Ms. Haynes.

And a second? - Second.

- Mr. Colon, thank you.


You're lookin' good up there.

You ready? (applauding)

Now that we have applauded you,

now we need to vote, too.

All those in favor of the motion

signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- Aye, those opposed, and you are approved unanimously.

- I always jump the gun. - Congratulations.

Now, we do wanna take a photo with assistant principals.

We have many principals.

- Just a few.

- Just a few?

So, assistant principals, if you can just wait,

and let's announce our principals.

- I would like to present

the superintendent's recommendation

for principal transfers.

Dr. Paul Nehrig from Forest Lake Elementary School

to principal at Pine Ridge High School.

And Tenille Wallace from Ford Orange Elementary School

to principal at South Daytona Elementary School.

- Okay, and.

Yes, go ahead.

- On behalf of the superintendent,

I recommend approval of the principal

administrative transfer appointments.

- Okay.

Thank you.

And do I have a motion to that effect?

- Mr. Chairman, I move that we approve

these principal transfers.

- Thank you.

And a second-- - Second.

- From Ms. Haynes.

All those in favor of the motion signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- Those opposed?

And you have been transferred to another school.

(applauding) Congratulations.

All right.

- I'm delighted to share the following

superintendent's recommendation for principal appointments.

- Okay, these are brand new ones now?

- Brand new ones. - Brand new ones, okay.

- Mr. John Devito, assistant principal

at University High School

to the position of principal of DeLand Middle School.

Mr. Devito began his career

with Volusia County Schools in 1997.

He has served in the position of teacher,

teacher on assignment.

For Southeastern University, and his bachelor's degree

from the University of Central Florida.

His certifications are in the areas

of educational leadership, principal,

and specific learning disability.

Virginia Freeman, principal intern

at Blue Lake Elementary School

to the position of principal

of Forest Lake Elementary School.

Ms. Freeman began her career

with Volusia County Schools in 2005.

She has served in the position of teacher,

math coach, assistant principal, and principal intern.

Ms. Freeman received her specialist degree

from Stetson University,

and her master's and bachelor's degree

from the Florida State University.

Her certifications are in the areas

of educational leadership, elementary education,

English speakers of other languages,

primary education, and varying exceptionalities.

Angela Polite, principal intern at Holly Hills School K-8

to the position of principal

of Port Orange Elementary School.

Ms. Polite began her career

with Volusia County Schools in 2006.

She has served in the position of guidance counselor,

teacher on assignment, assistant principal,

and principal intern.

Ms. Polite received her master's degree

from Nova Southeastern University

and her bachelor's degree

from the University of Central Florida.

Her certifications are in the areas

of educational leadership

and exceptional student education.

- Oh, this is nice.

Now, are we gonna have these people speak to us?

- We will.

Do you wanna do the process first,

or hear from them first?

- Yeah, well, you know.

So, Ms. Muller.

- Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the superintendent,

I recommend approval of the principal appointments.

- Alrighty, and do we have a--

(cheering) (applauding)

Do we have a motion?

- So moved. - Thank you, Ms. Wright.

- Second.

- And a second by Ms. Cuthbert.

Comments from the board?


I just wanted to say, congratulations.

As a former principal, it's always great to see

your faces before you start the job.


Then I like to see your faces

a year after you start the job.

No, it's the most exciting job,

the best job in the world.

So, congratulations to all of you.

All those in favor of the motion,

signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- Those opposed?

Looks like you're passed unanimously.

Way to go!

Welcome, principals. (applauding)

All right, so here's, go ahead.

- Okay.

So, at this time we'll give an opportunity

for our new principals to say a few words.

- Here we go.

- We'll start with Mr. Devito,

and then we'll have Ms. Freeman,

followed by Ms. Polite.

- All right.

- Good evening. - Good evening.

- Chairman Persis, Vice Chairman Wright,

School Board Members, and Chief Financial Officer Muller.

Wow, I am super excited to be sitting here right now.

It has been a long time.

I'm very nervous, but I'm excited to be here.

- Think of it as when

you're announcing those names at graduation.


You do such a great job with that, you know?

You don't have to go quite as fast with this.

- Hopefully this won't take as long--

- Let's hope. - as 650 names at graduation.

Thank you for having the confidence in me

to begin my principalship by leading the Terriers

of DeLand Middle School.

You may not know this

unless you check my enrollment history,

but way back when, during the 1998 school year to be exact,

I wore the purple and gold of DeLand Soccer Team.

We should've won it out right,

but the ref was in the wrong position, just saying.


I also created various art projects there,

including a giant dancing raisin

in Mr. Hers art class.

Thank you for this opportunity

to go back home to a place I know.

A place where, as six years as a teacher

at DeLand High School, I helped transition

students and parents to the next step in their education.

To my wife of 23 years, Emily.

I said I wasn't gonna do that.


I thank you for your patience and understanding,

that I not only had two children at home,

but I had another 1,300 to 3,000 at the school

I had been assigned at the time.

Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader,

and hon, our empty nest was just filled

with a bunch of Terriers.


To my sons, Samuel and Andrew,

thank you for understanding the same thing.

I know it was not easy always,

especially those high school years,

but together we made it through as a family.

I love you both.

My parents, for instilling a work ethic in me

that began as a young child.

They also taught me a phrase, la famiglia e tutto,

which is family is everything.

Mom and dad, you helped lead me here today.

I hope you're proud of the name

that I have made for you guys.

I love you both.

Then there are the leaders,

who I've had the pleasure of serving with,

under, or alongside in Volusia County

Public Schools throughout my time.

You often thought more of me and my abilities than I did.

Thank you for pushing me.

Mr. Moyer, thank you for mentoring me

as a first year intern and a first year teacher

way back in DeLand High.

You showed me that a veteran and a rookie

could learn a lot from each other.

Mr. Neil, thank you for bringing me

to University High School.

Your faith and trust in me is truly appreciated.

Thank you for believing in me.

Dr. Jones, thank you for encouraging me

to try one more time.

Those early conversations as we got to know each other

were really, really important.

Thank you for allowing me to continue to grow as a leader.

Each one of you and countless others

have given me a lot that I'm going to take

to DeLand Middle School.

Lastly, to my University High School family,

you have been my rock, my inspiration.

We came together from nearly every school

on the west side of the county

to celebrate something magical at University High School.

Continue to be the professional,

caring educators that you are.

Always remember to follow the creed,

and remember the lessons of Dr. Seuss,

and never let them leave your hearts,

your minds, or the graduation program.


Today I leave you with this.

Do not cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Together we made it happen, I love you all.

To my new family at DeLand Middle School.

I know Ms. Paige-Pender did a great job

of introducing me, but I am a product

of Volusia County Schools.

Go Bulldogs.

My wife, my children, we're all products

of Volusia County Schools, my wife and I were Terriers.

I have mentioned I have been a member

of Team Volusia serving as a substitute teacher,

teacher on assignment, assistant principal,

principal intern for nearly 23 years.

I can assure you that nothing is more important to me

than serving the students, faculty, staff, and community.

I will work tirelessly for you, my family.

Yes, you are my family.

And blend in with my best and most challenging traits

to create something amazing for you,

our students, and the community.

You may have noticed, family's very important to me.

I recently came across a quote

from J.J. Wilks that says,

"Success occurs when strangers become friends."

Allow me to make a slight change,

and change friends to family.

Success occurs when strangers become family.

Before tonight's board meeting we were strangers,

now, as of a few minutes ago,

we've already begun to grow as a family.

We are all in this together, we are a family.

Hamish Brewer mentions in his book,

"Families take care of each other,

"families lift one another up," we will do just that.

DeLand Middle School has a rich history,

I'm here to tell you, it has an even brighter future.

As a family, we will learn from each other,

we will grow together for the betterment

of our students, faculty, staff,

and the community we live in.

I cannot wait to get started.

And lastly, I wanna take a second to thank Mr. Russell.

Way back 17 years ago

when Mr. Russell came to DeLand High School,

he and I had a conversation.

I was looking to move into administration.

I was new, he was new, he did not know me,

I did not know him.

He encouraged me.

His passion as an educator was amazing.

So, for that brief conversation with somebody he just met,

I really appreciate that.

And then wait, I got one more thing to do.

We have a selfie to take, 'cause this is what I do,

if you follow me on Twitter.

So, we have to take our first official,

put you guys in the background,

our DeLand Middle School selfie.

Wanna turn around and get in?


- I can see us.

- Thank you very much.

- You did it, all right!


Good evening.

- Good evening.

Good evening, Chairman Persis, Vice Chairman Wright,

School Board Members, Mr. Colon, Ms. Cuthbert,

Ms. Haynes, and Ms. Muller.

I'm so honored and humbled to be named principal

at Forest Lake Elementary.

As a resident of Deltona for over 15 years,

I'm thrilled to be returning to my hometown

to serve the students, families,

and staff of Forest Lake Elementary.

Before beginning my leadership journey,

I served as a classroom teacher in Deltona for nine years,

and my husband had spent many years

as a school resource officer in Deltona Schools.

We truly are all in, and while I have loved my work

in Orange City and DeLand, I cannot wait to return home.

I would like to take a moment

to thank my loving husband, Rob,

who supports me unconditionally

and is always my biggest cheerleader,

whether we're in the same room or 7,000 miles apart

during a deployment.

My husband is my hero, and I often get asked

how I manage being a military spouse,

it's so hard, I often hear.

But I remind myself that my husband is married to a teacher,

which is also hard, so we're even.

We sacrifice to meet each other's needs,

and I couldn't imagine my life without him.

My two boys, Colton and Logan are here with us today,

and I'm proud to be.

3rd grade student, and had a fabulous experience.

He's now thriving as an upcoming junior

at University High School,

and amazes me everyday with his passion

for robotics and engineering.

Logan recently completed eighth grade

at Deltona Middle, and has found his calling

in the Performing Arts Academy there.

The boys are my why, and I thank them

for all their support and love.

I would like to thank my parents,

who taught me that there's no substitute for hard work.

And I know that they're proud of me

and smiling down from Heaven tonight.

I would also like to recognize

all of the administrators who have mentored

or supported me over the years.

Mrs. Fraise, thank you for giving me

my first job in Volusia County Schools,

and pushing me to stretch and grow.

Your encouragement is the reason I became an administrator.

Mrs. Servinak, thank you for showing me true passion

for students, faculty, and staff.

You inspired me to be a better teacher, coach, and leader.

Mr. Williams, thank you for teaching me

the importance of a smile and a positive attitude,

even on a hard day.

Knowles, thank you for your leadership and guidance

in preparing for this role.

And finally, Dr. Liffendal, thank you for trusting me

and allowing me to lead as a principal intern.

I am much stronger and confident

because of the experience you've given me.

To the Forest Lake family, I'm so excited to join the team

and become a Panther.

I can't wait to embrace the traditions of the school

and meet all of the fabulous teachers,

staff, students, and families that call Forest Lake home.

It's my goal to support all stakeholders

and continue the good work that's already going on.

Again, thank you so much for this amazing opportunity,

and I look forward to showing some Panther pride.

- (chuckles) Congratulations.


Oh, Holly Hill's gonna be so sad.

So sad.

My phone's already ringing already,

I mean, you haven't even said a word yet.

Oh my gosh.

- School Board Members, Mrs. Haynes, Mrs. Wright,

Mrs. Cuthbert, Mr. Colon, Chairman Persis,

and Mrs. Muller, good evening.

As I sit before you today,

I cannot help but notice the irony of this setting.

Despite the formality,

this room mirrors my journey as an educator.

As I stand, or I guess, or sit,

surrounded and supported by colleagues,

mentors, friends, and family,

for me, life has truly come full circle.

I am a proud product of Volusia County Schools.

It was at Westside Elementary where my love of poetry began.

It was at Holly Hill Junior High

where I developed a curiosity for the world around me.

And as Miss Mainland Senior High,

seeds of my ability to impact others were planted.

I am also the child of educators,

but just not any educators,

educators that served the students,

faculty, and community of Volusia County for decades.

It is with this proud legacy that I come before you today,

humbled, blessed, and so excited to be appointed principal.

The decision to enter the ranks of leadership

was heavily influenced by the excellence

and commitment to students that I've witnessed

in several individuals.

To Mr. Bill Meade, Mr. Jim Bishop, Mrs. Kelly Lewis,

Mr. R.T. Meyers, and Mr. Jeff Reaves,

thank you for your encouragement, trust,

and never-ending support.

To Mrs. Rachel Hazel, thank you for your

self-designated role as my lifelong mentor.

You are appreciated. (laughing)

And to Mr. Jason.

Eric and Aliyah, you are my heart.

And to my husband and love of my life,

thank you for taking this journey with me.

I thank God for his grace and mercy,

and provision that has always surrounded me.

For the past three years, I have served alongside

some of the finest educators

and caring school community of Holly Hill.

Thank you for allowing me

to grow professionally and personally.

My favorite quote by Mark Twain states that

"The two most important days of your life

"are the day that you are born

"and the day that you discover why."

To the students, faculty, and school community

of Port Orange Elementary, I now know that you are my why.

I'm honored to serve as your principal,

principal of Port Orange.

Have demonstrated serving generations

of students in the greater Port Orange area.

As the principal of Port Orange Elementary,

I will serve as your advocate.

It is my responsibility to ensure

that the students and faculty feel safe to dream big,

and to think outside of the box,

to meet and exceed the standards for high achievement.

I am committed to doing whatever it takes

to foster a learning-centered environment

that is creative, engaging, and ideal for high levels

of academic success.

To my Port Orange community, I look forward

to continuing this journey of learning,

community service, and collaborative partnerships.

I have been held to secrecy for the last couple of days.

I am now so glad to be able to shout

to my new school family, Tigers, here I come.


- That's great, thank you.

Congratulations! (applauding)


Congratulations to all of you.

So, what we wanna do right now,

we wanna take a group photo of all of the new

assistant principals first,

and we do that on the steps right out here,

and as soon as we finish with that photo

we'll take a photo with all of the new principals,

and we'll take a photo with everyone.

So, we're gonna be in recess

for about five minutes or so, folks.

- [Man] We'll get 'em to take.

(people chattering)

(gavel banging)

- All right, we are going to reconvene the meeting

and we're gonna start with the public participation part.

This is the public participation

on matters of general.

Any, Mary?

Is Mary here?

Yes, good.

- Hey.

- Mary K.

- Oh, I'm so glad some of the room cleared out.

Okay, 'cause I'm nervous.

Hi, I'm gonna speak quickly because I have three minutes.

Mary Kamisky, teacher at Edgewater.

I teach senior English and was offered

advanced courses next year, I said no.

The students I teach are wonderful, wonderful,

salt of the earth people.

They're vital to our society.

They will be mechanics, childcare workers,

people who transport your parents to the hospital,

doctors and rocket scientists, too.

Last year I had 10 homeless seniors.

We are losing sight of what education is.

Education is not hurrying

as many students as possible across the stage.

Education is not teaching students how to do things

they will face in adulthood,

such as taxes, or balancing a checkbook,

nor preparing them for making money.

Education is teaching them how to think,

and building fluency in foundational skills.

My goal is not graduation, it is mastery of,

or proficiency in the standards

through the excellent curricula on the map.

You cannot build mastery, proficiency, and fluency

if you're not in school.

If a student makes a C one nine weeks now,

they can be absent the next, and pass.

That is not proficiency.

Do not dumb this down, or you will be issuing

diplomas to illiterates.

Here's just one of our standards in senior English.

Cite strong and thorough textural evidence

to support analysis of what the text says explicitly,

as well as inferences drawn from text, including.

Important to the mechanic adjusting the valves

on your vintage Volkswagen,

or the citizen figuring out whom to vote for.

Students need to be in school.

My graduation rate is over 90%.

Cell phones are off and stowed

before students walk in the door,

even if they are six minutes early.

By September they are having conversations.

By October, they are debating the merits

of authors' viewpoints.

By January, students don't wanna leave class

when the bell rings.

By spring break, they're asking me for books.

By graduation, they are proficient.

We have a computer lab, I don't allow phones.

Leave it to the teachers to work with students

with challenging circumstances.

We do.

I had one self-supporting student

who could only come to school when it rained

because he worked construction.

Together, we worked on alternate assignments,

and he made it.

Students need everything we teach.

Imagine the EMT who doesn't know the difference

between close reading and scanning text treating shock

in the back of an ambulance heading for Halifax.

The patient is you.

Imagine the dad that doesn't know that difference

and can't titrate Tylenol, and overdoses your grandchild.

Do you want the board to dumb us down just to raise numbers?

(timer beeping)

- Thank you, Mary, and--

- I have given Connie some curriculum maps for you guys,

and take a look at it.

- Thank you for your service as well.

And our next speaker is no stranger to this board.

Cindy Fisher.

Cindy Fisher.

I don't like what it says at the bottom of this card, so.


- Well, good evening, Mr. Persis--

- Good evening.

- Board Members, and Ms. Muller.

- And you don't have any discipline reports in front of you.

- I do not.

Principals, seven superintendents,

thousands of colleagues, and thousands more students.

I truly am a winner of the Amazing Race.


I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve here,

and I wanna thank my Board Member, Mrs. Cuthbert,

for serving the Port Orange

and Southeast Volusia area as well.

Many of you don't realize this,

but because of her extracurricular activities

in high school, I taught Ms. Wright, and Ms. Haynes,

and Mr. Persis, we worked alongside each other

for years as colleagues.

Mr. Colon, we're newer to this game. (chuckles)

I was offered a job at Mainland High School

the day I received my bachelor's degree.

I ran into Jack Surrette and his family

because his daughter had graduated

and his son, he's in Gainesville.

And then I spent 18 years at Mainland.

The school where I graduated from,

where my mother graduated from,

where my grandmother went,

and where my son eventually graduated from.

The next 12 years after those 18 at Mainland

were spent in administrative roles

at four different elementary schools,

and then Atlantic High School.

Some people might say I couldn't hold down a job.

And then 10 years ago, I got a call from Mr. Whittet,

informing me that I'd been chosen to replace

Mrs. Egley at the County Office,

and then of course, the rest is history.

I never considered the positions that I served in

to be jobs, but as missions.

And I always knew that I was among family.

That family, wherever it might've been,

not just the current site, but all of those sites,

was always there to celebrate with me

and to grieve with me.

They were there to celebrate my wedding

and the birth of my son.

They were there to support me

through the death of my parents and my husband.

I could not have asked for more

supporting and loving people.

They helped me grow up.

So, as exciting as the prospect is

of not setting an alarm every morning,

I will miss seeing my family every day.

As we conclude my last official board meeting

and my last week at work,

I would ask the board to consider a few things.

You know, I used to tell my son all the time,

and sometimes I still do,

you have to decide what's more important.

Is it more important to be right, or to do the right thing?

'Cause they're not always the same.

So, I encourage you as board members

to always do the right thing.

Let what's right for our students be your litmus.

That being said, you can't forget your staff.

And I encourage you to treat all the staff

with dignity and with respect,

especially when the conversations are public.

If you want to encourage good people

to come and work here in Volusia County,

and then to stay in Volusia County,

you have to treat them well.

If you have an issue with an individual or a decision,

speak to them privately rather than calling them out

in a public forum.

You may be right, but do the right thing.

(timer beeping)

So thank you.

- Wait. - yes, wait, wait, wait.

You don't just get up and leave just like that.

No, no, no.

- She can finish.

- Were you finished? - I'm basically done.

I just wanna thank you for the past 40 years.

- Well, we just want to say

a few words to you now, Ms. Fisher.

So, Ms. Cuthbert, I know you wanted

to say something to this wonderful person sitting here.

- It's been a pleasure to serve with you.

I just celebrated my 30th year,

so I did three quarters of the time with you.

So, we served that much time.

It's been a pleasure.

We could always count on you and your professionalism,

your wise and sage advice.

Just your demeanor has always been

just something that we all admire.

Just looking at Dylan, your son, is a perfect example,

that he's definitely a chip off the ol' block,

and I must say, ol' block, not old block.

But thank you, thank you very much.

Enjoy your retirement.

You never know when you're gonna pop back up, so.


So, we welcome you, and good luck to you, thank you.

- Thank you.

- Yes, and anyone else want to make comment?

- Yes. - Ms. Wright.

- Well, quite naturally, but pride.

You are a true professional.

- Thank you. - Thank you.

- Thank you. - Yeah.

And I echo everything.

Well said.

I just think that you've worn so many hats,

and you wear them all so well.

And you're always so dignified

through some tough issues.

I mean, you dealt with some of our toughest issues,

and always came up here and helped guide us correctly.

I know the superintendent leaned on you, too,

for many things.

I know how difficult it is trying to replace you,

'cause I think Mr. Egnor says, it's taking three people.

So, I don't know how.

Dealing with you as a colleague,

you make us all very, very proud,

and it's just been a pleasure to know you,

and just so proud of you and everything.

And thank you for everything you've given

to the Volusia County School District.

You're amazing.

- Well, thank you. - You're welcome.

- I appreciate it. (applauding)

- Well, all right.

We are now finished with the public participation,

and we are moving back now, to item 4.01.

And do we have any public comment on 4.01?

All right, then let's just move right into

the presentation from staff.

Is that the Mr. Egnor?

- Mr. Akin.

- I meant Mr. Egnor.

Mr. Akin, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

(muffled speaking)

Yeah, exactly, yeah.

He was gonna jump up, though, and say something.

- He was coming, he was ready.

Seems ready.

- And Mr. Manning.

So, Mr. Manning and Mr. Akin, welcome.

And Mr. Akin, are you gonna begin?

- Sure, I will. - Okay.

- Yes, sir.

Chairman Persis, Board Members, Ms. Muller,

thank you for this opportunity this evening.

We bring forward resolution number 2019-25,

implementing a Student Crime Watch Program

to promote responsibility amongst students

and improve school safety.

Florida Statute 1006.07(3) requires the board

to implement a Student Crime Watch Program by resolution

to promote responsibility amongst students

and improve school safety.

This will allow students in the community

to anonymously relay information

concerning unsafe and potential harmful,

dangerous, violent, and criminal activities,

or the threat of these activities

to appropriate public safety agencies and school officials.

The Student Crime Watch Program will be implemented

through the Campus Crime Stoppers and FortifyFL programs,

and local law enforcement agencies

to promote safety within all of our schools districtwide.

- Thank you, Mr. Akin.

Mr. Manning, did you have any comment on that?


- [Mr. Manning] I have nothing.

- Thank you, and Ms. Superintendent.


- On behalf of the superintendent,

I recommend the approval of resolution number 2019-25,

implementing a Student Crime Watch Program

to promote responsibility amongst students

and improve school safety, pursuant to section

1006.07(3) Florida Statutes.

- Thank you.

You've heard the recommendation.

Do I have a motion?

- So moved.

- Thank you, Ms. Wright.

Ms. Haynes, second. - Second.

- Thank you.

Any comments, discussion, questions?

Hearing none, all those in favor of the motion,

signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- And those opposed?

And the motion carries unanimously.

- Thank you.

- Thank you, Mr. Akin and Mr. Manning,

you did a great job up there speaking.

Let's keep on going, and we are now on item,

let's see, six?


Is there any public participation on the consent agenda?

Are there any items to remove from the consent agenda?

- No, there are not.

- Okay.

Do I have a motion to approve the consent?

Thank you.

All those in favor of the motion signify by saying aye.

- [Board] Aye.

- And those opposed?

Okay, anybody like to discuss an item

that was just approved on the consent agenda?

- Sure.

So, I realized there are some folks out here

who are affected.

We've got different academies and folks who are here,

so, thank you for being here.

- Yes, well, why don't you all stand up

so we can just show our appreciation

for all of your support that you give us.


Thank you.

Thank you so much.

We are now on item 19.01, superintendent's announcements.

- Yes, the announcements are,

there'll be a special School Board meeting Tuesday, July.

Thursday, July 4th, 2019,

is a mandatory close day for 12 month staff.

All schools and district offices will be closed.

The remaining days of the week will be 10-hour work days.

And the next regular School Board meeting

will be Monday, July 22nd, 2019 at two p.m.

In the board room of the District Administrative Complex.

And there will be a special School Board meeting

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

In the board room of the District Administrative Complex.

- Thank you.

Thank you for those announcements,

and now moving on to item 20.01,

superintendent's presentations.

- Yes, we have, under this presentation,

we have a district update by Ms. Rachel Hazel

on the end of EOCs.

- Thank you.

Hello, Ms. Hazel.

- [Rachel] Just pull up the presentation.


Sorry, had to pull up the presentation.

Good evening, Mr. Persis, Ms. Muller,

and School Board Members.

I was asked to review the presentation

that we presented on the EOC recalculations.

We are meeting again because there was a recommendation

and a vote, I believe, to change the formula

for how we calculate EOC grades.

But I would like to review very quickly

where we've been, how we got here,

and then there are still some issues to resolve

that we did not resolve at the last presentation.

So, just very quickly,

we did talk about the history of EOC,

the Florida Statute that was effective in 2010, 2011,

that required for our EOC courses specifically

that an EOC exam would constitute 30% of that grade.

There was no direction given at that time

to any district as to what

that particular formula would look like.

Each district was left to come up

with their own formulas,

and that is what we did.

Again, the district committee was directed

to come up to look at the achievement levels of EOCs.

This chart is what our previous achievement levels were,

where an F was a level one,

level two was a D, level three C,

level four B, level five F.

In the spring of 2018, we gathered a committee.

The committee consisted of teachers, parents, principals,

there was a student on the committee as well.

We looked at those levels and made a recommendation

at that time for level one to be a D,

level two C, level three B,

and level five and