Bill Ritter

Bill Ritter

The Barrow County Board of Education shook up its officer leadership Tuesday, Jan. 12, electing Bill Ritter to serve as board chairman for 2021.

Ritter was elected over Lynn Stevens, who had served as chair the last two years. She replaced Mark Still as chairman in 2019 after Still’s retirement from the board. Stevens, who has been in office since 1997, is the longest-serving board member.

Ritter, who served as the vice chair in 2020, is serving his first term on the board after being elected in 2018.

“I’m humbled and honored that (the board) made that decision,” Ritter said after the vote Tuesday. “I promise I’ll do my best to do what’s right for the board and the schools, and (superintendent Chris McMichael) and his team on a daily basis.”

The board elected Debi Krause vice chair after she was the only member nominated for the post. Krause has been on the board since 2015 and is in her second term.

The board also officially welcomed new member Vince Caine, who took part in his first voting session Tuesday. Caine was the lone person to qualify for the District 2 seat last year after Garey Huff opted not to seek re-election.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business Tuesday, the board:

•extended McMichael’s contract as superintendent for an additional year through June 2023 following a closed session. McMichael's salary of a little more than $197,000 remained the same with the extension. 

•was recognized by McMichael for achieving Exemplary School Board status from the Georgia School Boards Association for a fifth year in a row.

•awarded a security camera installation services contract to Adapt to Solve of Winder in the amount of $37,162. The district has 279 replacement and 156 new security cameras to install in 13 schools.

•approved the purchase of network switch equipment from MXN of Woodstock in the amount of $437,000. Of the amount, 80 percent will be funded by the federal e-rate program, and 20 percent will be funded by the district (projected at $87,400). In related items, the board also approved the purchase of wireless networking equipment from MXN in the amount of $31,648 and UPS equipment from SHI in the amount of $53,330. The same 80-20 split between federal and district funding will also be applied to those purchases.

•approved utilizing Superior Commercial Cleaning for custodial support along with the district’s current Primero staffing. The anticipated cost for the remainder of fiscal year is $150,000.

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