School Board Votes in New Leadership for 2011

As the Clarke County School Board opened the new year, one of its first duties was to elect a Chairman and Vice-Chairman for 2011. Out-going Chairman Robina Bouffault opened the process with an overview of the events and accomplishments of the last year. She remarked:

In spite of the economic downturn and the many new challenges that our school board has faced over the last year, I believe that we have done an excellent job of progressing on many fronts:

Our long-awaited new high school is under construction. It was a banner day last July when we signed our construction contract with Howard Shockey and Sons, and had our official ground-breaking on July 24th, even if it was under a scorching sun with a 100 degree temperatures.   Now, six months later, our school construction is proceeding on time and on budget. Let’s hope the weather allows it to stay that way.

The upside of the poor economy helped us to obtain a construction cost well underneath the one budgeted. This has had the positive effect of giving us an extra $ 7 million that we can dedicate to the renovation of not only the current high school, but Cooley and Primary as well.

Getting our new high school built is definitely the highlight of 2010 for our board.

But, we did not stop there. Our school division, after all, is all about educating children and everything that requires.

Our board contracted with the firm SODEXO for our school meals, and I believe that the positively rave reviews we have received are a testimony to the great improvement in food quality, and a tribute to the hard work of our Superintendent and his staff who made it happen.

The board congratulated Rick Catlett, who was promoted to the Assistant Superintendent’s position, and who is using his many talents to balance our students’ needs with those of our hard-working staff and the many demands of the VDOE and those pesky un-funded mandates that plague all of our school divisions, and create so much red tape.

2010 also saw the arrival of three new school board office employees – Lisa Floyd, our new Director of Instruction and Curriculum, Ed Shewbridge our Testing Coordinator, and Randy Trenary, our new Director of Operations, all of whom are already well advanced in working towards improving and refining our curricula, testing, school operations. We are confident that their input will show excellent educational and operational results over the upcoming year.

Our IT Department, under the guidance of David Baggett, has progressed in bringing our IT infra-structure up to speed, and is working to make the technology in our new high school state-of-the-art. Much has been already been done – yet there is still much more to do, funding permitting.

Last but not least, our joint Maintenance Director, Bobby Levi, has been a true wizard at not only maintaining but beautifying our school buildings, both efficiently and unobtrusively. He and his assistant Ruby Miller run a well-oiled machine and make it look easy. They have our thanks.

So, where are we going in 2011?

Our board is facing a double-whammy:     not only a difficult budget situation again for FY12, – this will be the fourth year in a row – but a continuing decline in our pupil population, which also equates to fewer dollars in revenue. Yet we must protect our vital mission:   that of guaranteeing an excellent education for all of our students, even during these difficult times.

We cannot rest on our laurels, well deserved though they may be. There is still much work to be done, and scant funds to do it with.   However, we have a solid Superintendent, a highly qualified and motivated staff, and an entire community supporting us.   The challenges may be many, but I am completely confident that our board and staff have the will and the ability to tackle them as they arise.

So, school board members, let’s roll up our sleeves, get to work, and make 2011 another good year.

Tom Judge opened the nominations for Chairman and Barbara Lee was nominated by Jennifer Welliver.   Robina Bouffault seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations and when the votes were cast,   Ms. Lee was elected unanimously. Ms Bouffault relinquished her seat and Ms. Lee immediately took up the position of Chairman of the Clarke County School Board for 2011.

Next the position of Vice-Chairman needed to be filled. Emily Rhodes name was put forth and she was also elected unanimously.

Ms Lee’s first meeting as Chairman was a marathon session filled with challenges for the upcoming year. The Clarke County School system faces yet another year of diminishing funds compounded by declining enrollment rates in the system which will mean lower funding from the state in the future.

Commenting on her new position and goals for the upcoming year,   Barbara Lee said, “My goal is to have a united board. I want to run things as smoothly as possible.”


  1. Andy Kiser says:

    On behalf of the Clarke County Education Association, I want to thank Ms. Bouffault for her service as Chairwoman of the CCPS School Board. I also want to extend our congratulations to one of our own, Barbara Lee (former elementary teacher and CCEA member and officer), on her election as the new Chairwoman. We look forward to working with Mrs. Lee, the board, and Dr. Murphy to navigate a very tough and challenging budget cycle, and to develop a plan to provide the money and resources that our students, and the dedicated professionals who work with them every day, need to maintain the solid academic programs and successes CCPS has enjoyed, and lay the foundation for increased success.

  2. just interested says:

    Barbara Lee is a great choice!!!! Congratulations!!

  3. onceandawhile says:

    Robina says:

    ‘The board congratulated Rick Catlett, who was promoted to the Assistant Superintendent’s position, and who is using his many talents to balance our students’ needs with those of our hard-working staff and the many demands of the VDOE and those pesky un-funded mandates that plague all of our school divisions, and create so much red tape.”

    Perhaps if the board had paid attention or be in compliance with both Code of Virginia and VDOE when first required, those “pesky” mandates wouldn’t seem so bad.
    Is this why there is a 20K expenditure( see finance report) this month for legal??

    • No, those “pesky” mandates are way beyond reason. Unfortunately, the lawmakers who enact them are unaware of the consequences (and the irony) of the laws they make, and they do not have the strength to stand up to those who fight to maintain and build upon those laws. If the general public had any idea, they would be far less concerned with the new health care laws, which pale in comparison.

      If you want education reform, charter schools are NOT the answer unless and until the playing field is equal.

      • So, when it comes to education reform, you want the playing field to be equal. But when it comes to student behavior and discipline, you want discretion instead?

        You can’t have it both ways.

        • Fly on the wall says:

          Actually…yes, they can. They have to. Federal laws and regulations set up just such a paradox. You cannot compare those two components of the school program, as they are neither mutually exclusive NOR identical in form or function.

          You, and the few others on here like you, who screech for public humiliation of miscreants, who ceaselessly beat some Puritanical drum for swift and severe retribution, who rip the administration for “real” (or, more probably, perceived) cronyism or favoritism…why do you rail on here, but not in public @ the school board meetings? Oh…that’s right…to do so in that forum would require you to come out from behind the anonymity of “Rightwinger” or whomever. Youd’ get the same answer then that you have here – student discipline records, just like employee personnel files, are privileged records that the public (which includes you, RW) are not entitled to see. You can’t stand this, and so you mitch and boan and rant and rave…serving only to further make you look petty and small-minded.

          • Well, I’m glad that you feel the need to stick up for the kids who misbehave and say they should still be able to get scholarships even though kids who don’t misbehave deserve them more.

          • Fly on the wall says:

            Not “sticking up” for anyone. Merely pointing out that you seem awfully upset over something you have no control over. FERPA and other federal regulations (you know, the ones NOT made here in Clarke) strictly regulate the information that is public knowledge about students’ and their school records…that means, if it don’t concern you, you can’t see it.

            So…again…the girls violated the law, the LPD was involved, no formal criminal charges were filed, discipline was handled here in CCPS last year and the girls were consequenced…last year, and a new year has dawned. You are not privy to the conversations had with those girls, and the others in that really good program, so get over yourself. Flagellating a deceased equine carcas serves no positive purpose.

          • You’re the one who said they shouldn’t have their chances at scholarships torpedoed. Sounds to me like sticking up for the kids who can’t/won’t behave.

          • Travis Goodwin says:

            No, I don’t believe that is what FotW is saying. You seem to like to jump from thread to thread, hijacking whatever the conversation is to get in your digs and pointless rants. When something sticks in your craw, it really is lodged in there, eh?

      • onceandawhile says:


        Your answer is absurd. Please don’t tell me the county spent 20K on defending charter schools last month???? Why so much in legal?????

  4. BTW Congrats to Mr.C he seems to be in it for the right reasons

  5. concerned says:

    I have been reading your comments for quite some time, Rightwinger and I am starting to look upon you as being similar to a course of antibiotics. While strong and a great thing the first several times, after a while they lose their effectiveness. I really think that you don’t even have to comment anymore, just put your name on an article. We all know that your point of view will be extreme, with many personal insults towards others, and references to the numerous crimes you have witnessed in our community. Rather than put yourself on a pedestal for pointing out these multiple crimes to law enforcement, school officials, etc.; maybe you should take some time to quietly set back and reflect on why people are not responding to you. Are you untrustworthy, do you exaggerate, are you perhaps delusional, one dimensional, or just what is it that people do not respond well to you. As the saying goes after so many times of others always being in the wrong, you should wonder…..could it be me? Not trying to be mean, just gently saying none of us want our children doing wrong, nor do we want them vilified and judged daily by someone we do not even know.