Several Woodward Public Schools employees can breathe a sigh of relief. Monday night the Woodward Public Schools Board of Education voted to continue employing all of their principals and assistant principals for next school year.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Fisher and Curriculum Director Debbie Harrington retain their posts for 2009-2010 as well. Athletic Director Andy Newby and the instructional technology director, alternative education director and special education director will remain with Woodward Public Schools next year as well.

The board also voted to retain Stephen L. Smith Corp. as financial consultants for the next school year.

Smith was present at the meeting. He briefed the board on how his financial estimates had gone so far. He said the estimates were a little higher than what really happened, but that was a good thing as the school board and taxpayers have saved money this past year.

By using local financial institutions and getting rid of lawyers and underwriting costs, Smith said the district has saved $2.6 million.

“The money that is saved is going into the classroom,” Smith said.

The extra money is also going to help the district weather the tough economic times. Smith said his policy is to have the school board only borrow what they spend.

School board members approved the sale of $2.7 million in bonds by Smith to help in the construction projects going on throughout the district.

The $2.7 million is part of the bond issue approved last April.

A new president and vice president was elected by the board. Linda Harrison will be the new board president and Marlin Trissel will be the vice president.

James Kerr of Kerr 3 Design Group gave a presentation to the board about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings. The buildings are designed and built to be environmentally friendly.

Kerr said the new Early Childhood Development Center could be LEED certified. The board agreed with his recommendation and designated the center to become LEED certified.

The benefits of achieving certification are that energy and water costs go down severely. The initial cost of a LEED certified building is much greater though.

A group of art teachers and students displayed their artwork for the board. Woodward Middle School North teacher Emily Lively won a ConocoPhillips art scholarship plus a $250 grant for art supplies. The scholarship allowed her to learn new art techniques that could then be passed on to the students who had new art supplies thanks to the grant.

Other items approved by the board included:

• Renewing the contract with Chas W. Caroll, PA to be the auditor for the 2009-10 school year.

• A five year licensing agreement between the school district and Suddenlink Communications to provide a communication link between school buses and their home base.

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