Travel Restored –


BOE votes for $10,000 trip to Opryland

By: Pat Hunter

October 19, 2008


Just a few short months back, the majority of old School Board members voted to cut out Board salary and travel. But at the following meeting, the School Board back peddled and restored their 36,240, board and committee fees. Each School board member receives $300 monthly or $3600 yearly pay.


Chairman Tate deferred the discussion of travel to School Director Wayne Honeycutt. Honeycutt mentioned that the Board had asked for him to look into travel for the TSBA conference. He mentioned that six members were interested in attending the conference. The meeting will be held at the Opryland Resort. He said that the business manager had a budget amendment to cover the travel. Honeycutt recommended that the Board attend the conference. The motion was made by School Board member Craig Simon and seconded by school board member Bill Marcus to attend the convention in November. School Board member Shaver asked about the cost and Tate replied that if all 10 members were to attend the conference the cost would be about $10,000. Shaver said that he could not imagine taking $10,000 from the schools right now for a tailgate party in Nashville. He thought that if the Board wanted to attend that was fine but for them to pay their own way.


Chairman Tate countered that it was very beneficial. Much could be learned and it would be an opportunity for the Board members to interact with other school boards, Tate added. Craig asked if one or two school board members could attend and bring back information to the other board members. Gary Ubbens, UT professor that faces huge cuts at UT, spoke about the Board being responsible for a $35 Million plus budget and he thought that it would be wise to attend the meeting. It would be hard for two board members to attend all the meetings, Bobby Johnson, Jr. commented. Larry Proaps spoke in favor of attending the conference.


Steve Harrelson asked about mandatory classes and Lisa Russell said that she was reimbursed with a stipend for attending her mandatory classes for new school board members. Lisa Russell said that she thought that mandatory classes should be reimbursed for. But spending $10,000 when the school board needs $15,000 for the road, she was willing to forego the trip. Harrelson commented that he thought the School Board should stay with the Board’s earlier decision to cut out travel, which was made during the financial budget crunch. The motion carried with 3 NO votes from: Lisa Russell, Van Shaver and Steve Harrelson. Yes votes: Leroy Tate, Bill Marcus, Scotty Newman, Larry Proaps, Bobby Johnson, Jr. and Craig Simon.


When it was time to approve the budget amendment for the travel, business manager presented a $20,000 Travel amendment that Wayne Honeycutt and Sims had prepared for the Board's approval. The Board voted down the $20,000 amendment however a second motion was made for $10,000 to cover the travel for Opryland, which was approved by the majority of the Board.


The School Board voted to transfer $10,000 from the maintenance budget. School buildings purportedly are in dire need of maintenance and repairs nonetheless, the majority of School Board voted to use maintenance money for their own needs, which is hard to understand.


Why didn’t someone suggest transferring $10K from the IT department budget or transferring money from Director Wayne Honeycutt’s $58,465 travel budget or $63,000 from his communication budget or $14,000 in dues and memberships expense line? Honeycutt’s travel expense could use some trimming. Just last week, he was seen with Mayor Arp and other VIPS and press, in Vonore at the proposed new ethanol plant ground breaking ceremony. Does this sound like a school system with money problems?





The TSBA 2008 CONVENTION SCHEDULE was obtained on-line at





11:00 a.m. Leadership Conference registration

1:00-4:45 p.m. Leadership Conference


7:00-8:00 a.m. 5K Walk/Run sponsored by Pickler Wealth Advisors

7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Convention Registration

7:30-8:30 a.m. Leadership Conference Breakfast

8:30-11:15 a.m. Leadership Conference

11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m. TLN Board of Director’s Meeting/Luncheon

1:00 p.m. Tailgate Party in the Exhibit Hall

1:00-5:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open

1:30-4:00 p.m. Community Relations Workshop

1:30-5:00 p.m. Legal Workshop

12:00-3:00 p.m. TSBA Board of Director’s Meeting

3:00-4:45 p.m. Past President’s Reception

5:15-6:45 p.m. Opening Session

Speaker: Ian Jukes

Entertainment: Bedford County


7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Convention Registration

8:00-9:00 a.m. Clinic Session A

9:00-10:30 a.m. TCSBA Meeting

9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Exhibits

9:30-11:30 a.m. Special Interest Sessions (2)

1. Our Children are Not the Students Our Schools Were Designed For: Understanding

Digital Kids (adjourns at 11:30 a.m.)

Today's world is not the world we grew up in; and today's world is certainly not the world our

children will live in. Because of the dramatic changes our world has undergone, today's digital

kids are not the students our schools were designed for; and our students are not the students

today's teachers were trained to teach. This session examines the effect digital bombardment

from constant exposure to digital media has on digital kids in the new digital landscape and

considers the profound implications this holds for the future of education. What does the latest

neuroscientific and psychological research tell us about the role of intense and frequent

experiences on the brain, particularly the young and impressionable brain? Based on the

research, what inferences can we make about kids' digital experiences and how these

experiences are rewiring and reshaping their cognitive processes? More importantly, what are

the implications for teaching, learning and assessment in the new digital landscape?

Participants should prepare to have their assumptions about children and how they learn

seriously challenged.

2. A report from the Hill – A preview of the 2009 Legislative Session (adjourns at 11:00 a.m.)

Join members of the Tennessee General Assembly for a discussion of legislative issues affecting

public schools and other key stakeholders. Legislators will provide insight into the 106th General

Assembly and answer your questions about the legislative process, current law, proposed

legislation and other important topics.

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. TOSS Board Meeting/Luncheon

1:00-2:00 p.m. Clinic Session B

2:30-4:30 p.m. Delegate Assembly

2:30-4:30 p.m. Special Interest Session (1)

1. Into Tomorrow: Looking at the Extreme Future

It is said that those who live by the crystal ball shall eat crushed glass. Invariably when futurists

make predictions we can be certain of two things. First, in many cases it will longer than we

predict for some things to happen. But conversely, when they happen the impact will be far

more pervasive than any of us can imagine. This presentation is about the extreme future 10,

15, 20 or more years out. This is not a crystal ball, Ouija board future, but an educated and

informed look ahead at the good, the bad, the ugly, the scary, the beautiful, the terrifying and

the sublime. Participants will be given an overview of the Extreme Future: the new Energy Age,

the new Innovation Economy, the future of globalization, Moore's Law revisited, the new Age of

Communication, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Neurotechnology, the new workforce,

longevity medicine, tomorrow's climate, weird science and the future of the individual ‐ and

then be asked what the Extreme Future holds for the way we work, the way we play, the way we

communicate, the way we learn and the way we view our fellow citizens. This presentation is

not for the faint of heart. Come and get your assumptions about almost everything challenged.

2:30-5:00 p.m. Board Secretaries Meeting (TABS)

6:15-8:45 p.m. Awards Banquet

Speaker: Dale Henry


7:30-11:00 a.m. Registration Desk Open

7:30-8:00 a.m. Board of Director’s Meeting

8:00-10:15 a.m. Closing General Session/Breakfast

Speaker: Salome Thomas-El

Entertainment: Sevier County

10:15 a.m. Adjourn