FCS Board Bulletin for December 7, 2022
The Fulton County School Board of Education met on Thursday, December 6, for its regularly scheduled board meeting at the North Learning Center. Following are highlights of some of the more highly discussed topics, with the full agenda available online. Other topics discussed or approved are available via BoardDocs. Summaries of board actions can be found here and board policy updates can be found here.
Superintendent Mike Looney began his report noting there are only eight instructional days left in the school year and by thanking team members for making the first semester at FCS a great success. He also recognized all the coaches and extra-curricular activity sponsors who give countless hours to students across the district. In his safety update, Dr. Looney said installation of the new Centegix wearable badge alert system approved at last month’s board meeting will be initially tested and installed in three schools over the next few weeks and will go live in January. The phased installation throughout the district is expected to be completed in March. Additionally, 169 Flock Safety camera systems have been installed throughout the district to date. Finally, December 5-9 is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Georgia. Dr. Looney encouraged the community to visit gema.georgia.gov for more information about emergency preparedness.
Celebration of Outgoing Board Members
Retiring School Board members Julia Bernath (District 7), Katie Reeves (District 2), and Linda McCain (District 5) were recognized at the last work session they will attend at the North Learning Center in their official capacities. Superintendent Looney remarked it was bittersweet to recognize their departure, but their impact will be long-lasting. He noted Fulton County Schools is nationally recognized for its commitment to academics, the arts, athletics, focus on community, and financial stewardship, and that the policies and procedures they have set will guide the district successfully for years to come.
Recognition of their service included proclamations from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Vice Chair Liz Hausmann, who previously served with Ms. Bernath and Ms. Reeves as an FCS Board member, highlighted the outgoing members’ collective 57 years of service to the students, parents and staff of Fulton County Schools.
Board members were emotional as they shared their proudest moments. Ms. McCain began by recalling the school Board’s efforts to secure improvements to the Fulton County Schools pension fund for retired classified employees through the state legislature. She also noted the technology changes occurring over the years, the renovated school media centers transforming students’ experiences, and the positive impact of the board’s strong financial stewardship, including the district being free of long-term debt.
Ms. Reeves shared that she initially ran for the school Board on the promise, “I will listen to parents,” and showed a yard sign with that slogan from her first campaign. She stated she was proud to have kept that promise and for the Board’s work to set policies for academic growth and curriculum development as well as its work to support stakeholders. Reeves also highlighted policies being established during her tenure to support parents’ rights, increase communication, and hold the district financially accountable so that taxpayer dollars are protected.
In addition to becoming Georgia’s first large charter district, Ms. Bernath noted her pride in Fulton County Schools’ work to improve its overall operations, including more safety initiatives, technology-rich schools, energy-efficient buildings and buses, and fiscal accountability. She commended the district’s internal teams and school leaders for their efforts to make the school district a national model for success.
An appreciation video also was presented, showing memories and achievements that have occurred since the three board members took office. Ms. Reeves joined the school board in 1999, with Ms. Bernath joining a year later in 2000, and Ms. McCain taking office in 2010.
Swearing-in Ceremony for New Board Members
A swearing-in ceremony was held for incoming School Board members Kristin McCabe, Dr. Michelle Morancie, and Lillie Pozatek. The Honorable Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk issued the oaths of office to Ms. McCabe while Dr. Morancie was sworn in by the Honorable Judge Kenya Johnson. Ms. Pozatek was sworn in by the Honorable Judge George Hutchinson. Each Board member’s four-year term officially begins January 1, 2023.
Ms. McCabe, who was elected to represent District 5, is a Johns Creek resident and former nurse who brings leadership experience from the PTA and local school council levels. Dr. Morancie, a Sandy Springs resident who was elected to the District 7 seat, is a former school psychologist with Fulton County Schools and the New York City Department of Education, and now has a private counseling practice. Milton resident Ms. Pozatek was elected to serve District 2 and brings expertise as a former special education teacher and parent leader. She recently was selected and sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) working with children in foster care and their families. Incoming District 3 Board member Katie Gregory and Board Vice President Kimberly Dove, who was re-elected last year, will be sworn in at the December 14 meeting.
Music Programs Update
The Performing Arts department supports the music education of more than 53,000 K-12 FCS students offering many opportunities for student success. Matthew Koperniak, Ed.D, coordinator of the department, shared some of the celebrations and achievements by music students in the district’s music programs. Based on the most recent data available from the Department of Education, FCS has a more than 97% percent graduation rate of Fine Arts pathway completers in 2021. For the Class of 2022, seniors enrolled in music reported plans to attend a college or university this fall at a rate of 74%, compared to the overall district average of 67%.
In addition to other accolades, FCS is a proud recipient of the 2022 Best Communities for Music Education award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) foundation. This marks 23 consecutive years of receiving this prestigious distinction. Additionally, the district boasted 315 All-State band, chorus, and orchestra members in 2022. Of note, Koperniak also recognized Board President Julia Bernath for her service as the Georgia School Boards Association representative on the Georgia Music Educators Association Board of Directors from 2011-2022. Click here to see the full presentation.
New Hires & Promotions
Dr. Kevin Scott | Director, Student Discipline Intervention and Prevention
James Stewart | Executive Director, IT Infrastructure and Operations
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