Cook offered two year contract

Following an executive session of the Western Brown Board of Education, May 18, board members voted unanimously to renew a 2-year contract with athletic director/assistant principal Tim Cook. Cook is a retire/rehire for the district, and earlier this year, when the issue came before the board to renew his contract, it was tabled for a couple months as a non-renewal contract.
Multiple residents from the district attended each of the last three board meetings to express their feelings about the board’s decision to non-renew Cook’s contract, especially at the May 22 meeting where more than 80 people attended.
Before the board went into executive session, three requests to speak at the meeting were received from Bruce Lunsford, Perry Ogden and Pat Hill. Each of these individuals took the microphone and talked about Mr. Cook and why it would be a mistake to let him go.
Lunsford, the Mayor of Mt. Orab, was first to speak, and made it clear that he was there as a resident of the Western Brown School District, not as mayor.
“I’d like to thank the board for the opportunity to address the board tonight,” Lunsford said. “I’d also like to thank them for their public service, because being a public servant can be very difficult but it can also be very rewarding. We have a fine school system here, I have three grandkids that recently graduated from Western Brown, I have two grandkids that are students at Western Brown High School, two grandkids at the elementary school and I’m very proud of this school.”
Lunsford said that the facilities at Western Brown are equal to none, and he considers it to be an excellent system.
“I want to talk tonight about the subject of retire/rehire,” Lunsford said. “I’ve been reading some articles about this subject lately, and I’ve learned that there is becoming a very severe shortage of teachers, partly due to the low starting pay. I wanted to know if the retire/rehire had anything to do with that. I scanned more than 30 articles and couldn’t find anything where the retire/rehire had any effect on the shortage of teachers.”
Lunsford said that by hiring Tim Cook as a retire/rehire, over the last three years has saved the school district $47,000 each year, a total of over $140,000. So if the district has 10 retire/rehires, that’s a savings of over $300,000 a year.  He added that Mr. Cook puts in many hours as athletic director, the athletic department runs very well and he has built up a good system. Lunsford believes that athletics is a big part of school and he is sure some students stay in school because of the athletic program at Western. Over 80 people in the room applauded Lunsford’s comments.
Perry Ogden took his opportunity at the microphone to talk about how great the athletic department is directly because of Mr. Cook’s ability to make things happen.
Pat Hill made the trip to Mt. Orab from Georgia, to specifically speak on Cook’s behalf describing him as enthusiastic and passionate about what he does. She said he cares deeply about the students at Western and has had a big effect not only on the students but also the district. She said she knows that Tim Cook would continue to work tirelessly for Western Brown.
Other actions taken by the board included:
• Accepted resignations from Julie Elcook, band director and Stephanie Stoffel, fifth grade math teacher
• Accepted retirement from Daryl Jones, bus driver and Brenda Royalty, computer aide
• Employ a list of certified contracts, classified contracts and supplemental contracts (available upon request)
• Employ Shannon Hiler, sub custodian, tutors Wendel Donathan, Becky Groves and Jeremy Wheeler
• Approve Sue Purtell, choir, John Rodesh, instrumental music, Dave Bickett, study hall aide, Dusty Gray, monitor, Julie Dye and Nicole Jones ad United co-advisors
• Tabled the hiring of girls varsity basketball coach and girls varsity assistant basketball coach
• Approved several field trips, athletic admission prices, student fees, five-year forecast and the extracurricular athletic handbook.