Superintendent’s 2009-10 Budget Proposal

News Release for March 27, 2009 – “With this letter and the attached documents, I present the Superintendent’s Proposed 2009-10 General Fund Budget. The spending plan totals $66,859,273, and represents a 7.28% reduction from the School Board’s adopted 2008-09 General Fund Budget….” [Read full article & view the PowerPoint on the KCSD Website.]

Proposed Budget

This evening, I will present my proposal for the 2009-10 General Fund Budget to the school board.  This recommendation comes after receiving input from staff, administrators and the public over the past several months.  A copy of my budget letter to the board and the slide presentation I will use this evening is already on the homepage of the website.

As I explain in the letter, my approach has been to reduce a number of areas versus totally eliminating anything.  There is nothing that I am recommending for elimination that I like or wish to do.  Please note that my budget proposal includes the use of federal stimulus money.  If we do not receive the stimulus funds, drastic cuts beyond what I am proposing will be necessary.

This is strictly a proposal at this point. There is a great need for further discussion, and I hope you will participate in these ongoing conversations. As a next step, I will be holding a series of meetings in order to receive feedback on this budget proposal.  I hope many people will take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the budget and provide feedback.

A Good Conversation

I had a good conversation yesterday afternoon with the members of the faculty at Wateree Elementary School about the characteristics they see as important in their new principal.  I really gained a lot of insight from what they had to say.  I’m looking forward to a similar conversation with Wateree parents this coming Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.  This is obviously an important decision, and I want to have as much perspective from the school staff and community as possible.

Honor Roll Teachers Wow Panel

This past Friday, a distinguished panel of educators came to visit our six Honor Roll teachers to determine who will be the next Kershaw County Teacher of the Year.  Our Honor Roll teachers include Brian Heyward from Stover, Melody Johnson from Lugoff Elementary, Robert Ondere from LEHS, Kitt Lisenby from Mount Pisgah, Jennifer Watson from Pine Tree Hill, and Melissa Blankenship from Wateree.  Our panel told me that all of these folks are so good and so accomplished that it was unbelievably difficult to make a decision.  My thanks to the people who served on this panel, including Mary Lostetter, a former South Carolina Teacher of the Year, Jim Newsom, the former Superintendent in Darlington County, and Barbara Weston, a former South Carolina Honor Roll Teacher.  My thanks also to Liz Horton of the Chamber, Amy McLester, a retired Kershaw County educator, and Mary Catherine Norwood, another former Kershaw County educator, for serving on an earlier panel.

Robotics Team Scores At Clemson Competition

I ran into LEHS teacher Holly Sullivan at Food Lion at little while ago (Food Lion is where the action is on Sunday after church…), and she told me that the robotics team, which includes 12 Lugoff-Elgin students and 4 Camden students had placed seventh out of 44 teams at the competition at Clemson this weekend.  Great job by everyone involved!  High school robotics is something for which I hope to be able to seek some external funding so that we can keep it going and growing.  Holly Sullivan’s vision and energy is what has made it happen.

Bravo Drama Demons!!!!!

I tremendously enjoyed seeing the Lugoff-Elgin High School production of “When in Rome” last night. The cast was obviously very well-prepared and did a great job with both the comedic and musical aspects of the play.  My thanks and compliments to Julie McCallum and Wendy Campbell for bringing out the very best in each of the students involved in the play.  The play will be presented again tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the LEHS auditorium.  It’s not be missed!  A wonderful evening’s entertainment!

“Doughnuts For Dads” At Midway

I was extremely pleased to be invited to “Doughnuts for Dads” at Midway Elementary School this morning.  There was a great turnout and I know the young people were really pleased to have their Dads at school.  My thanks and compliments to the folks at Midway for putting on this event.  It  was a great way to start my day!  I also want to thank John Gardner, Billy Smith, and Bill Oden from the district office staff for joining me at Midway for this occasion.

Cafeteria Kudos….

Last year, our School Board asked staff to examine ways to make breakfast more accessible to our students.  Our new Cafeteria Coordinator, Misha Lawyer, has worked with several of our schools to implement some different approaches to breakfast that have been tremendously successful at increasing student breakfast participation.  Special kudos and thanks to Blaney Elementary, Camden Elementary, Lugoff Elementary, Midway Elementary, and Pine Tree Hill Elementary for “thinking out of the box” on this.  Great job by everyone involved!


Janet Williams, an English teacher at Camden High School, has been awarded the Dr. Elizabeth Gressette Scholarship for Professional Development from Palmetto State Teachers Association.  She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature. Congratulations!

A couple of days ago, I talked about the presentation of When In Rome” at Lugoff-Elgin High School on Thursday and Friday of this week at 7:00 p.m. On Thursday, the Journalism students at LE will be sponsoring a spaghetti dinner before the play to raise funds for a student journalism convention.  I’ve worked with these students on a couple of occasions, and they are top notch! I hope folks will come out and support this dinner and these students.

“Dining With Dads” At Jackson School

I had a wonderful time serving breakfast at Jackson School this morning with Mr. Andy James of the School Board and principal Dr. Gerald Gary as part of the school’s “Dining with Dads” event. There was an outstanding turnout!  It was truly an impressive event!  I particularly enjoyed the number of fathers who came through the line who went to Jackson when Mr. James was the principal there.  My thanks to the cafeteria staff at Jackson for the “extra effort” to make this event possible.  Thanks also to Jackson teacher Ms. Ann Davis for inviting me to participate.  A definite high point in my week!