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Just as it gave Union County Superintendent Ken Basil authority to begin the search for a band director in the month of December, the Union County School Board gave Basil authority to begin a search for a football coach during January's monthly meeting.
After deciding to develop an all-county Jr. High football team, with the idea of beginning football practice later this spring, the board gave Basil the go-ahead to find a coach to oversee the development of such a team.
The board made the decision based on a number of children and parents from all four county schools showed interest in playing football. While a majority of those interested came from East Union, many board members desired to make a football program all-inclusive.
"I feel strongly that we need to give every Jr. High child in the district the same opportunity to play if they want to," said Union County School District Board President Johnny Rakestraw.
Basil, under the direction of the board, is working to secure a centralized location for football practice, but said that it is still in the early stages.
"We have had some people in the city and county tell us that they want to see us develop this thing and they want to help any way that they can," Basil said.
Newly-elected board member Wayne Mahon raised questions he had encountered from his constituents regarding the funding of both a football and band program in the county. Mahon said that he had been asked about the location of funds for such programs.
"About three years ago, we raised the millage request on ad valorem taxes we take to the Union County Board of Supervisors every year," Rakestraw explained. "At the time, we planned it for any needs in our district. The following year, the board decided to earmark some of those funds for the future creation of a band program and possible football program. The money is in the general fund, though, and we can use it for anything we need to. It was just our decision to set aside some money for these programs, because we wanted to see our district grow in the future."
To date, the board has made no decisions on the hiring of any band director or football coaches.
The board also approved a contractual agreement with Sherra McElroy to develop a new Union County School District website, as well as websites for each of the four county schools. The district would pay McElroy $14,000 for a six-month contract. This contract includes development of the websites, training of district and school employees regarding the maintenance of the websites, any travel expenses incurred, as well as bi-weekly website maintenance by McElroy herself.
"This is much-needed for us to attract new students to the district," Rakestraw said in giving his approval to the contract.
The board also approved a request from Renasant Bank to use the Ingomar Attendance Center Gym on Jan. 31, 2009 to act as host of the Robertson Sportswear Tournament, provided all profits received from the event to toward Relay for Life, in accordance with school district policy and state law that says only non-profit or civic organizations may use school facilities. The only exception allowed would be concession profits, which would go to the school district.
The board also approved the employment of Clint Reed as musical director for the musical production of "Oklahoma" to be presented by students from the district. Basil said that a $14,000 budget has been developed for putting on the production, which would likely be put on at the Magnolia Civic Center later this school year. No date has been set for the event yet.