The board also agreed to give Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa the flexibility to use $2 million if needed to hire extra teachers for classrooms with too many students.
During last week’s meeting, east Cobb board member Scott Sweeney advised expanding Teasley Elementary in southeast Cobb from the 10 classrooms outlined in the special purpose local option sales tax program to 20 classrooms, as well as enlarging the school’s cafeteria and gym to help with overcrowding.
The elementary school serves about 750 students and is almost 300 students over capacity.
The new expansion would increase the cost from $3.1 million to $13.4 million, and will be funded by SPLOST III and IV.
Laura Martin, whose kindergartener and second grader attend Teasley, was one of two parents who asked the board during public comments for its support of the expansion.
“Our wish is to see the physical facilities at Teasley to be a support, not a hindrance to the growth of all students,” Martin said. “Our students deserve school resources that foster and sustain an environment of growth and encouragement both now and in the future.”
$2 million to spend on hiring teachers
Although Hinojosa originally opposed the idea of the board approving additional funds if needed to hire teachers to ease crowded classrooms, he changed his mind earlier this week when enrollment numbers rose from 1,000 under the district’s projected number to now 62 students over that estimate.
“When this was presented to the administration I had some significant reservations because at the time our enrollment figures were significantly behind in the projections,” Hinojosa said Thursday night.
Administrators projected an enrollment of 106,645. As of Thursday, enrollment was 106,707 students.
“I feel a lot more comfortable that we aren’t going to have an issue with our enrollment and in fact we may need some flexibility as we deal with enrollment pockets that we have to adjust,” Hinojosa said.
The school district uses projected enrollment figures to determine the number of teachers it needs to hire at each of the district’s 112 schools.
Northeast Cobb School Board member David Banks introduced the recommendation last week and initially requested the board use $4 million from its almost $85 million reserve fund to pay for any extra hires if needed.
On Thursday night, southeast Cobb’s Tim Stultz changed the figure to $2 million and it was approved 6-0 with member Kathleen Angelucci absent.
New principals in east Cobb
In other business, the board also approved hiring Adam Hill as the new principal at Timber Ridge Elementary School and Phil Wilkes as Dodgen Middle School’s new principal. Both schools are in east Cobb.
Hill, who has been an educator since 2001 and worked in Cobb during that time, has worked at Timber Ridge since 2011 as the assistant principal. His salary will increase from $72,851 to $89,068 with the promotion.
Like Hill, Wilkes was the assistant principal at Dodgen, where he has worked since 1987. His salary will increase from $73,245 to $90,626.
Timber Ridge Principal Tracie Doe and Dodgen Principal Robin Lattizori were promoted in July as the district’s two newest area assistant superintendents.
Doe will represent west Cobb schools and Lattizori east Cobb.