Solar Panels for Dade County High School

The Dade County Board of  Education recognized Director of Transportation and CTAE  Director Dr. James Cantrell for an estimated $3 million in grants for Dade County schools.

Dr. Cantrell has written several grants for the school system in his time at Dade County, the most recent of which allowed Dade County High School to make a move to solar energy. Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris presented Dr. Cantrell with a certificate and Award of Excellence pin before sharing a video by DCHS Broadcasting with Principal James Fahrney and DCHS teacher Josh Hurst on the Solar Panels and new Cross Country Track. The video can be viewed below.

Three solar arrays were installed on the roof of Dade County High School in August of this year at a total cost of $107,000, with $50,000 paid for through the grant. The solar panels should save the school system $7,000 a year in energy costs and $173,000 over 25 years.

Also recognized at the October Dade County Board of Education meeting were the teachers of the year who received money to use on furniture or technology for their classrooms, a specially designed pin and a framed copy of their Teacher of the Year photo. Those photos will also be displayed for the year in the Board of Education meeting room at the Central Office. Teachers of the Year are Rhonda Bradford (DVS and Elementary), Amber Barton (DES), Heidi Wilson (DCHS and DCS), and Ashlie Smith (DMS).

“When we see you, we see what we all aspire to be,” Dr. Harris said. “We are so proud of you.”

Darlene Rogers was recognized as well, by the board for her “leadership, guidance, and enthusiasm for the entire community; especially Dade County’s children.”

Dr. Harris shared the Athletics Update from Athletic Director Bradley Warren. Football has 3 games left with Senior night which will be held on November 2nd. Cheerleading goes to region on November 3rd and State on Nov. 9th-10th. Girls Volleyball placed 2nd in our area and they travel to Rabun County Saturday Oct. 20th and play at 1:00 in the first round GHSA Playoffs.

Softball travels to Heard County and plays first round games on Oct. 16th at 4:00 & 6:00 pm and a game three on the 17th at 1:00 if needed. Cross Country runs in the region tournament on October 23rd and will travel to state on November 3rd if they qualify.

 The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget has been closed out and System Bookkeeper Paula Stallings reported an ending general fund balance of $3,170,841.80. Stallings said the ending balance was higher than expected due to local tax collections being up more than 7% over the previous fiscal year and an increase in the amount of E-Rate money the school system received.  SPLOST collections and other tax revenue continues to go up with September’s SPLOST collections at $72,007.25 higher than SPLOST collections this time last year. Ad valorem tax collections are up $11,334.11 over collections in September of last year and taxes collected on vehicles are up $7,852.56 over September of last year, too.

A new look for the Dade County High School cafeteria is on the way. The cafeteria remodeling project has been discusses and planned for several months and includes input from students, staff, and administration. Requests for bids on the project as approved by the board were sent out with only one bid returned. Board members approved the $173,692 bid which will be paid through SPLOST and School Nutrition funds. School Nutrition Director Dr. Cleta Long has planned the renovation for Christmas break as a surprise for students when they return to school after the holidays.

Board members approved a bid for diesel from Jatt Oil at $2.744 per gallon after the lower bid by Parham Energy was rescinded due to the company being unable to get a truck to deliver the fuel on time.  Board members also approved the resignation of Director of Special Programs Temperance Shults and the hiring of Kelli Defriese, Jeffrey Johnson, Mark Hovermale, Jacqueline Ogilbee, Sarah Page, Danielle Cooper and Elizabeth Mullins as Substitute Teachers.

Reported by: Summer Kelley

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