Editor's note: This aritcle has been updated to reflect the following correction, which will appear in Wednesday's print edition. When Bradwell Institute won its only state football championship, in 1962, the school’s nickname was “Lions.” An article on page 5A Sunday incorrectly listed the nickname as “Tigers,” which is the current nickname.
Olvey Field’s stadium is now called Hokey Jackson Stadium in honor of the man who coached Bradwell Institute’s only state championship football team.
The motion to name the stadium was approved 6-1 at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. Marcus Scott cast the lone dissenting vote.
Several months ago, a group of local residents came together and requested that the board name Olvey Field’s stadium after the famed coach. There was a presentation about Jackson and his history at Bradwell, and board members had the opportunity to ask questions.
Former Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown, who is part of the effort of naming the stadium, spoke before the board about the request during the meeting’s audience-participation portion before the vote later in the evening.
Brown said the goal is do a special ceremony at Bradwell’s Oct. 22 home game against South Effingham. The event will be televised on MyLC, WSAV-DT Channel 3.2 (Comcast Cable Channel 237), and it will coincide with the 50-year reunion of the Bradwell's championship football team. He asked that a ceremony either before the game or at halftime recognizing the state championship team and renaming also be approved.
In opposing the motion, Scott said that he has nothing against Jackson but is concerned with having a procedure in place for naming school-related facilities. Scott said there needs to be a consistent procedure the board uses. Other board members felt that a process was already in place when groups give a formal presentation, provide information and the board votes.
Superintendent Dr. Valya S. Lee said there is an established process based on precedent and that Scott is asking for a delineated process so that in time every request follows the same criteria. Lee said she will get with staff and create a formal procedure to bring before the board.
In other business matters:
• The board voted 6-1, with Scott opposed, for $1,000 supplements for school-level Response to Intervention facilitators. These facilitators help students with behavioral problems and often spend many hours working outside of the school day.
• Chad McCaskill, the district’s director of transportation, gave a transportation update for the current school year. He discussed goals for bus drivers, bus safety, daily operations, creating positive environments and the purchase of 12 new buses. Six 72-passenger buses would be replacements, costing a total of $520,200; two 66-passenger buses would be paid for with 2014 Department of Education bonds totaling $198,348; and four 72-passenger buses would be paid for with 2015 DOE bonds totaling $346,800. McCaskill noted that the district is able to use Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money, when available, to purchase buses.
• Chief Information Officer Patti Crane discussed switching the school system from its current email system, Microsoft Exchange, to the Google’s Gmail. Crane said there have been problems with the current system and that the switch will provide more benefits. A test group will switch to Gmail this month and, by December, all district users will move over to the new system. Liberty County School System email addresses will remain the same.
• Dr. Jennifer Walts, the district’s director of evaluation, assessment and accountability, gave the board an update on changes with the Georgia Milestones Assessment System. Changes included a new test company, Data Recognition Corporation, which claims to provide error-free online testing; new achievement-level categories for scores; and anticipating that 50 percent of the district will test online this year.
• Board members also heard from Kyle Fairburn of the Military Impacted Schools Association, a national organization of school superintendents with districts with a high concentration of military children. Fairburn discussed impact-aid funding for school districts with military installations, such as Liberty County; successfully stopping a voucher program that had been considered by Congress; and other matters.