Lattimore Named School Board Chairman

September 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Johnny Lattimore, second from left, named School Board Chairman (older photo)

Seventh district school board member Johnny Lattimore was elected Chairman of the DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night.

The school board reorganizes each September, naming a chairman, vice-chairman, and an assistant secretary.

Lattimore's name was placed in nomination for chairman by sixth district member Doug Stephens. Third District member Kenny Rhody then nominated second district member Charles Robinson for re-election as chairman "for the outstanding job he's done this last year," said Rhody. "A lot of research goes into that role. It's a tough role when you do it the right way. There's a lot of research and I think he performed an excellent job as chairman," added Rhody.

M2U00829 from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Robinson thanked Rhody for the kind words and the nomination but said he was removing his name from consideration. First district member John David Foutch then moved that the nomination cease and that Lattimore be elected as chairman by acclamation. All voted in favor. Fourth district member Billy Miller was absent.

After the vote, Chairman Lattimore said "I would like to reiterate what Mr. Rhody was saying that Mr. Robinson has done an outstanding job over the last few years as chairman. We appreciate all of his hard work and dedication. He put a lot of time into being chairman of the board and we appreciate that," said Lattimore.

In addition to Chairman Lattimore, the board re-elected Rhody as Vice-Chairman and First district member Foutch as assistant secretary without opposition.

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly personnel report to the board.

Those employed since the last meeting are:
Katie Goolsby, teacher at DeKalb West School
Tommie Pilgrim, substitute maintenance
Michael Merriman, bus driver
Tenile Rowland, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School
Jennifer Benton,, JoAnn Vanatta, and Mary Mathis, substitute cooks
Wade Ferrell, substitute school nurse
Mary Margaret Tripp, classroom assistant at Smithville Elementary School
Donna Knowles, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School
Sara Halliburton, teacher at DCHS
Shirley Mathis, substitute bus assistant
Michelle McManus, substitute cook
Gentry Underhill, bus driver

Suzanne Gash, transferred to a teaching position at DeKalb Middle School

Meanwhile, Sue Driver, a teacher at Smithville Elementary School and Bethany Rigsby, teacher at Northside Elementary School, were both granted a leave of absence as requested.

Joy Parker, a teacher at DeKalb Middle School is retiring as of October 26 while Janice Patrick Tanner, substitute school nurse, resigned as of August 15th.

The board, upon the recommendation of Director Willoughby, authorized the signing of a contract with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects of Mount Juliet for the proposed re-roofing projects at Smithville Elementary, DeKalb Middle, and DeKalb West Schools after an attorney has reviewed it.

The board adopted a resolution of appreciation honoring bus drivers.

The resolution states Whereas, school bus drivers have an opportunity to ensure that a student's school day begins and ends in a positive manner by the way they greet each student in the morning and bid them farewell in the afternoon; and

Whereas, school bus drivers must assure the safety of the students to and from school every day; and

Whereas, bus drivers must be ready to handle any emergency situations that might occur; and

Whereas, bus drivers are valuable employees. Without them, the school system would not run properly and smoothly because many of our students could not get to school; and

Whereas, school bus drivers spend many hours learning new rules, regulations and safety procedures to keep our transportation system great; and

Whereas, the superintendent and school board greatly appreciate the commitment and dedication of our school bus drivers and wish to honor them for their service to our school system.

Therefore, be it resolved, that the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby establishes September 20, 2012 as Bus Driver Appreciation Day in DeKalb County Schools; and

Be it further resolved that the Board encourages students, parents and staff in each school to join us in expressing appreciation to the bus drivers for all they do".

Chairman Lattimore also congratulated Director Willoughby for being named Director of the Year in the Upper Cumberland and for being in the running for Director of the Year in Tennessee. Willoughby was among nine directors of schools across the state up for that honor which went to the Bradley County director.

In other action, the school board voted to provide a bus to transport anyone, especially elderly or handicapped persons from DeKalb County to the Dailey and Vincent Concert in Gainesboro on Saturday, September 29 if there are enough people interested in riding a bus there.

Dailey & Vincent are set to host their third concert for their Helping Hands Charity, on Saturday, September 29 at the Jackson County High School Gymnasium in Gainesboro. The show starts at 5:00 p.m.

Since its inception, The Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund, administered through the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Foundation, a 501©(3) organization, has raised over $60,000. It exists to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged children of Jackson and DeKalb counties to meet immediate medical, nutritional and educational needs not covered by insurance or other means.

Funds raised by the concert will be divided evenly for use in Jackson and DeKalb counties.

Concert tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and are available in Smithville at Cantrell Furniture or Mapco Express or by calling Julie Vincent (615-418-5759). Tickets are also available online at

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