JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The August meeting of the Campbell County Board of Education started off with Director Jennifer Fields presenting retiring board member Faye Heatherly with a large floral arrangement and etched crystal award and praised her 18 years of service on the board. Heatherly served as Campbell County’s representative to the Tennessee School Board Association, serving on the TSBA’s board of directors and a term as TSBA president during her years on the board. Watch the meeting HERE on demand.

Following that, Brittney Surface, representing a group of parents, most of them mothers, addressed the board with a request to expand the elementary school basketball season.

She presented a well-prepared list of reasons why the basketball season should return to a pre-Covid schedule, which included every elementary school playing every other school instead of the county being divided into two divisions with large schools and smaller schools limited to playing only each other. The expanded season would begin earlier, in September, in order to include everyone.

Chairman Johnny Byrge said the subject had been discussed at an athletic committee meeting where two options were considered but both involved conflicts with school schedules. “There is not an easy solution,” Byrge said.

Then another speaker, Chris Mott, said an expanded basketball season would pose a conflict with Pee Wee Football. “It wouldn’t be fair to ask children to practice both sports with a September schedule,” he said.

Byrge said Pee Wee Football isn’t affiliated with the schools so the board has no power to set its schedule. “We can’t change the football season, but we can postpone the basketball season,” Byrge said, finishing by thanking both groups for their input but making no commitment except to point out “There’s no easy answer.” Mott then left, along with a group of parents and around a dozen Pee Wee football players decked out in their jerseys.

Fields then made her report, informing everyone that the school system is returning more or less to normal after two years under the cloud of Covid, with no social distancing and a plan in place to isolate any students showing symptoms. She added that progress is being made on repairs to intercom systems and all paving of parking lots has been completed.

After congratulating newly elected board member Randy Heatherly and again praising Faye Heatherly’s service but before the board could continue with routine business, another parent in the audience voiced a complaint but was cut short by Byrge.

“We have a policy that anyone wanting to address the board must give five days notice so you can be added to the agenda,” Byrge said, refusing to allow the speaker to continue. The male parent continued just the same, loudly insisting to be heard until Byrge ruled him out of order and the deputy standing at the rear of the courtroom escorted him out of the meeting.

The board finally completed a rather short and routine agenda and board members made their closing comments, all congratulating Faye Heatherly and the four members who were re-elected. Jeffrey Miller then said that while campaigning, several school employees hesitated to complain about some unspecified problems. Fields responded that Miller’s statement reflected on her and the two exchanged some sharp words before moving on. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/10/2022-6AM)