East Bernstadt Schools honor IT department

Nov. 11—The challenges of technology brought on by in-home and video classes during the COVID-19 pandemic are being recognized by state and national organizations.

Mike Burns and Brandi Stokes are two of those recently named as recipients of the Stillwell Award. East Bernstadt Superintendent Vicki Jones presented the award to Burns at a recent school board meeting.

The Stillwell Award is a commemorative coin that recognizes technology staff in school districts. The award is presented to school staff dealing with K-12 students and staff and is designed for the period of March 10, 2020 through March 11, 2022. The award is presented through the Kentucky Department of Education.

Burns said while honored by the recognition, the success of having students perform successfully from home was not a sole effort.

"It's always a team effort," he said. "It's being supportive of one another and that translated into how we could deliver outside the classroom."

Board members also discussed some grants that will accentuate the school programs. First was a $10,000 grant from KFC, which will be used to purchase musical instruments for the school's music program. It has previously been discussed of establishing a music and band program at the school and a grant to purchase musical instruments would further that goal.

Board members also discussed a payment plan for the excess payment from a miscalculated tax fee from Cumberland Cooperage. Jones told board members the cooperage had offered a 3% discount on the $167,000 owed or repay the amount in four payments over four years. Board member Tom Caudel suggested making the full payment to ensure the $5,000 discount. That motion passed unanimously.

Jones also discussed test scores for the elementary and middle school students. The middle school ranked 15th of 172 schools, while the elementary level landed in the 10th spot. Jones touted the students for the success of the test scores.

With the school library being the only section of the school that is not currently on a geothermal system, board members discussed replacing the malfunctioning heat and air system. One bid for the new system was $112,461.30. Jones told board members a second bid had been received, but did not include the software for controls and other essential aspects for the new system. Board members voted to accept the full bid that included those items.

The East Bernstadt school board meets on the second Thursday of each month, unless otherwise specified. Meetings begin at 5 p.m. and are held in the Gene Allen Administration Building.