It was a late evening for the Campbell County School Board and an even later one for board member, Noah Smith. The Campbell County School Board’s Budget and Finance Committee voted 4-2 to pass the 2019-2020 School Year Budget out of committee and send it on to the full board for approval at next Tuesday night’s regular monthly meeting. Ultimately the county commission has the final say on the budget.

Last night’s meeting brought out several parents and community members from White Oak.  One of the points in the proposed budget calls for grades 6-8 at White Oak School to be transferred to neighboring Wynn Elementary School. The School Board was met with a 1.8 million dollar budget shortfall this year resulting from the lack of state BEP money. The tough decision to move grades 6-8 from White Oak was one of the cuts to accommodate that shortfall.

Director of Schools Jennifer Fields gave a very detailed and well-prepared presentation one many called the best they had ever seen.  She specifically outlined the budget shortfall and how the necessary funds would be cut in order to balance the budget.

Finance Director Jeff Marlow supported Field’s proposed budget along with four out of the six school board members present.

Smith of District 4 used the power of technology, one of the first instances in the county school board’s history, to attend the meeting.

Smith attended the meeting via Skype all the way from Rome, Italy some 5,000 miles away. What was telling of Noah’s dedication was the fact that he stayed up until 2:30 AM (Central European Time Zone) when the meeting concluded. Rome is six hours ahead in time from Campbell County but that did not stop Smith from being remotely present at this budget meeting. Skyping from his Rome hotel, Smith tells WLAF, “This is what the people elected me to do; to serve them and represent them, and if that means from 5,000 miles away and losing sleep, I would do it in a heartbeat.”  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/07/2019-6AM)