GC Schools Board of Education welcomes new member, votes on board positions

Board Attorney Jesse Wright swore in returning board members Ronnie Holmes and Kenneth House, as well as newcomer Joni Goodman, at Graves County Schools Board of Education’s meeting of 2021 on Thursday evening. The newly formed board then voted Kelly Thurman to serve as the new chairperson, and Ronnie Holmes as the vice-chair.

The results from November’s election began in earnest Thursday evening, bringing change to Graves County Schools Board of Education.

After being sworn in by Board Attorney Jesse Wright, newcomer Joni Goodman was welcomed onto the board by fellow members. Ronnie Holmes and Kenneth House, who were reelected, were also sworn in once more.

As former member and chair, Jim Wurth, was not reelected in November, the board also saw a significant shift in its seats. The newly formed board voted unanimously for Kelly Thurman to be the new chairperson of the board, and for Ronnie Holmes to be the vice-chair.

Superintendent Matthew Madding was also picked as the board secretary, which has historically been the case, he said. Jennifer Dillon was also selected to be the district’s treasurer once more.

With voting done, the board discussed its schedule for the 2021 calendar year. Regularly scheduled board meetings will be held at the board office at 6 p.m. on the third thursday of every month except for April 20 and October 28.

The board also scheduled work sessions for each month, with each being held at a different facility. The sessions are scheduled for:

  • Noon on Jan. 12 at Central Elementary School
  • Noon on Feb. 9 at Sedalia Elementary School
  • Noon on March 9 at Graves County High School
  • Noon on April 13 at Fancy Farm Elementary School
  • 5:30 p.m. on May 11 at the board office
  • 5:30 p.m. on June 8. at the board office
  • 5:30 p.m. on July 6 at the board office
  • Noon on August 10 Graves County Middle School
  • Noon on September 7 at Lowes Elementary School
  • Noon on October 19 at Wingo Elementary School
  • Noon on November 9 at Farmington Elementary School
  • Noon on December 7 at Symsonia Elementary School

Thurman also requested a special called meeting to further discuss the situation with Lowes Elementary, which will be held on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Graves County High School Library.

Lowes Elementary School became the center of attention last year after it was removed from the District Facility Plan draft by the Local Planning Committee and placed into a transitional phase. The LPC removed it after the Kentucky Department of Education informed the LPC that the total cost of repairs to the facility would be $10.5 million, but due to the low enrollment, the district could not exceed $7.05 million. Madding previously stated that the actual number of enrollment decreases it further to $6.05 million.

With Lowes Elementary in a transitional phase, its student body could potentially be absorbed into surrounding schools in the district and its doors ultimately closed.

Parents of the facility’s students turned out in force to oppose the potential closure of the school on Dec. 17. However, Madding has stated that nothing was finalized until the board makes a decision, and that the DFP is still in its draft phase.