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Superintendent McLean receives contract extension

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OXFORD — The Granville County Board of Education voted 4-2 to extend Granville County Public Schools Superintendent Alisa McLean’s contract at a special meeting held Aug. 8 at the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford.

After a closed session, the board rendered its vote for the contract extension. Board Chair G. Thomas Houlihan, Vice Chair David Richardson, Leonard Peace and Lynn Allred voted to extend the contract for two years. Rob Rivers and Ed Mims voted no to the two-year extension. Danny Eudy did not attend the meeting.

McLean became the superintendent on July 19, 2017. Prior to coming to GCPS, she was an area superintendent for the Durham school district.

At the Aug. 8 special meeting, Rivers addressed McLean and asked that the board not vote on extending her contract until they had further information on the academic performance data from last year showing positive achievement. Rivers said he would vote no on extending the contract until he had the information, but mentioned his vote was not due to a lack of confidence or disregard for McLean.

In other business, Rivers said he requested information about school operations in January and February and still had not received all of the information. He said there was a formula or algorithm that he would be able to submit the data in to help determine the cost of operating a school at less than capacity. Rivers mentioned how the data would help inform the board of how much money was being “blown up the chimney” on these schools.

Rivers added this may help the board make a decision regarding the schools on the southern end of the county.

Richardson voiced his concern that the school board continues to revisit the same things over and over again without getting any results. He reminded the board that there is not a paid researcher on staff and the people who are receiving the request for information have a school district to run.

“They have jobs to do, but we just keep piling more and more on them,” Richardson said.

The board voted to allow Rivers to work with Beth Day, assistant superintendent of finance, to gather data to assist with the school reorganization efforts.

Mims would go on to address the lack of vision and achievement by the board. Mims said the board needed to establish goals and follow through until they are complete. Houlihan noted the board had done a lot about facilities but had lost sight of the children and performance.

McLean addressed the concerns by saying, “We have all had to do things that are not pleasant, but you are right. Infrastructure, the manner of the environment and culture that these students have to come to is right up there with oxygen. I think it is a responsibility we all must hold as serious as the academic performance or people are not going to trust us with their babies.”

“We will talk about academics, but if those children are not safe, we don’t even get to academics,” she continued. “They have to feel safe, they must be mentally safe, we are going to deal with whatever those children and teachers need so they can deliver instruction and the children can receive instruction. We are to give them the best education we can give them.”

McLean praised the board and Public Information Officer Stan Winborne for their work on getting work done on the parking lot at Stovall-Shaw Elementary School and the two HVAC systems being installed in the South Granville High School and J.F. Webb High School gyms.

The next meeting of the Granville County Board of Education will be held Sept. 9.