In what was expected to be a short and simple meeting of the McCreary County Board of Education prior to the Christmas break turned sour as tensions rose leading to one Board member exiting the meeting early.
The meeting began with Board member Roxanne Shook, who was attending her final meeting, expressing her thanks to her fellow members for their work during her term.
“I want to thank everyone for your service,” she said. “I appreciate my five years here. I wish you all luck and hope everything goes well.”
With Shook’s comments ended, the Board turned to the agenda, which had several items of routine business under the consent items section, and nothing under discussion, signifying a relatively short meeting.
But one item, the request to approve a trip for Gibson to attend the National School Board Conference in Denver Colorado, was pulled for further discussion at the request of Roxanne Shook.
Gibson stated she felt the trip would be beneficial as it would expose her to new ideas she could share with her fellow Board members.
Gibson had attended a similar conference in California several years ago with then-Board member Becky Gregory, and stated she had learned a lot and brought back materials for the Board to look at.
Shook stated she wanted to know the cost of the trip before making any decision.
Gibson replied she did not know at that moment the cost of conference, only the expected cost of the airline ticket, which totaled $333.
According to the conference website, registration for the March 25-27 event ranges from $740 to $915. Additional fees for optional events start at $100 upwards. The cost does not include lodging or meals.
Board Chair Brandon Kidd hesitated on making a motion to approve the request, noting the Board would need a total cost before considering approval.
“I’m not going to approve anything without a dollar amount,” he said.
Gibson, clearly upset at the lack of approval, withdrew her request.
“I think I will make a motion to remove it,” she said. “Forget I ever asked to go.”
With that Gibson stood up and left the meeting.
The three remaining Board members still held a quorum and adjourned the meeting.
The next meeting of the McCreary County Board of Education will be on Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. At that meeting new Board member Dustin Stephens is expected to be sworn in and begin his first term on the Board. Stephens was elected to fill the seat vacated by Shook in November.