D19 superintendent receives $8,000 raise, contract extension

  • Dr. Shawn Johnson

The Blackville-Hilda Schools superintendent received a raise and an extension of his contract Monday, Jan. 8 from the District 19 School Board.

At their regular meeting the board voted to give Dr. Shawn Johnson an $8,000 annual raise and extended his contract until 2020.

Board member Sharon McClary made the motion which was approved unanimously by the board members in attendance including Carroll Priester, Ethel Faust and Bill DeLoach. Karen Jowers was not at the meeting.

Later in the meeting Bill DeLoach thanked Dr. Johnson saying, “I strongly feel we are moving in the right direction.”

Johnson, in turn, gave credit to his “great staff”. He also congratulated the principals at all the schools for their achievement growth over the last year.

Following the vote the superintendent passed out packets of appreciation from the schools to the board members in recognition of School Board Appreciation Month.

Prior to the public meeting the board had met in closed session for 90 minutes to discuss multiple topics including student placement, legal, contractual matters, personnel, transfers and the audit report.

In open session the board approved the audit as presented by Jim McGuire of the accounting firm C.C. McGregor.

McGuire said they had “issued an unqualified opinion” and the audit was reviewed “fairly and consistently with prior years.”

He said a copy of the audit had already been sent to the S.C. Department of Education.

The vote to accept the audit as presented was unanimous.

A complete article about the audit will be published in next week’s Jan. 24 edition.

During her financial report, Interim Finance Director LaPrecious Rivers said there had been no credit card activity or board travel to report.

Turning to schedules, the board approved a tentative 2018-19 District Calendar.

Dr. Johnson said he had met with the superintendents of Districts 29 and 45 as well as the Career Center and all had concurred on the county-wide calendar.

He said the only difference between D19’s calendar with the other districts was the dates for Spring Break. “Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same,” said Dr. Johnson.

The calendar schedules teachers to return to school on Aug. 13 and students’ first day is Monday, Aug. 20. Winter holidays are Dec. 20 through Jan. 3 although there is a teacher in-service day on Jan. 4. Students return to class on Jan. 7. Spring break is Friday, April 19 through Friday, April 26 with students returning to class on April 29. Graduation for seniors is May 31 while all other students have a half day on Monday, June 3. Teachers will have in-service through June 6.

During the meeting Dr. Johnson also asked for flexibility for those teachers who were unable to get to work recently due to the snow and ice on Jan. 4 and 5. “These teachers normally don’t miss,” he said, but the weather made travel dangerous.

He asked that these teachers not be required to use their vacation days as a result of the storm.

Chairman Carroll Priester said, “If it was verified they couldn’t get out, I don’t see how we can use that against them.”

The other board members concurred.

Dr. Johnson also said letters of intent were being mailed out Jan. 10 to teachers to get an idea of who plans to return in the fall. “We want to get on our recruiting practices early this year,” said Johnson.

Teachers have 10 days to return the forms.

In other business the board:

• Voted to approve the tribunal decision regarding the placement of “Student A” due to the absence of the student involved; and

• Accepted the resignation of Janice Neal as a bus driver.