Boyle BOE honors retirees; District creates new Family Resource position

Published 5:30 pm Monday, July 8, 2024

The Boyle County Board of Education recognized district staff who retired this school year at their meeting on June 13.

Retirees received a commemorative blanket with a Varsity letter “B” for Boyle, in honor of their accomplishments. They took a photo with the board of education members, and Superintendent Mark Wade thanked them for their service.

“I think about the backbone of our organization, and I think about the people who get in the trenches every single day to make this organization run smoothly, and we’re gonna describe those people tonight,” Wade said.

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The retirees recognized are as follows: 

  • Junction City Elementary School Principal Pam Shunk retired after 14 years in the position. She started at the school in 2010, and has worked in education for 33 years, starting her career in Fayette County. 

“Boy are we fortunate she chose to come to Boyle County, and I could not imagine Junction City Elementary in the place where it is today without Pam Shunk,” Wade said.

  • Cheryl “Cheri” Waite retired on November 1, 2023. She was hired in November 2004 and helped feed many students during her 19 years with Boyle County Schools. She started at Boyle County Middle School and ended at Junction City Elementary, where she also spent time as the Cafeteria Manager.
  • Sharon Lester retired in December 2023. She has had a number of different roles for the district, starting in September of 1992 when she was hired as a cafeteria aide at Perryville Elementary School. She was hired as a cafeteria monitor again in August of 2000, then became a full-time cook at Boyle County High School, then Perryville Elementary School. She went to Boyle County Middle School in 2018 as an Instructional Assistant, then finished her time with the district as an IA and bus monitor at Woodlawn Elementary.
  • Jennifer “Jenny” Hillard retired after 27 years of service. She has served as a full time bus driver with the district, and in 2021, took on the role of a cook at Boyle County Middle School.

“Jenny drives them to school, helps feed them, then drives them home again,” Wade said. “Thank you Jenny for the countless ways you’ve served the children of Boyle County.”

  • William “Bill” Mason is retiring after 11 years of service. He started as a Boyle County Middle School Science teacher, and served the last three years as Assistant Principal at Junction City Elementary. Mason also coached Eagles and Rebels baseball and football. 
  • Caryn Fuqua worked for two years as Head Custodian at Woodlawn Elementary School, and spent many years supporting public education before coming to Boyle. She was not able to be at the meeting.

In other business: 

The board approved creating a classified Family Resource/Youth Service Center Director position for Perryville Elementary School for the 2024 – 2025 school year, for 240 days per year, seven hours per day.

The position is part of a FRC grant from the state, and the new position doesn’t cost the district anything extra.

Previously, the district had one Family Resource position that served both Junction City Elementary and Perryville Elementary. But since enrollment increased, the state offered to create a second position, so both Junction and Perryville will now have full time people instead of one person splitting their time.

The board approved a quote from Houchens Insurance Group for workmen’s compensation insurance with Zenith, in the amount of $178,864 for the 2024 to 2025 School Year. The amount for this type of insurance is an increase of $76,973 from the 2023-2024 agreement with Liberty Mutual.

Wade explained that the district has had a number of workplace accidents in recent years. He said they have a loss history with insurance companies due to injuries and claims, and providers see the district as higher risk. He said the Zenith quote is less than they would spend with other providers.

In response to the question of what the district can do to decrease workplace injuries, Wade said they plan to have some more safety training for employees.

“Training is key; I mean there are times when you’re going to have cooks that burn themselves, you’re going to have employees that lose their footing on something and twist their ankle,” Wade said. “We’ve actually met with some insurance providers and they’re going to come in and do some training for us.”

He said the insurance providers can also give recommendations on what the district can do to increase safety in the schools.

“Some [accidents] were avoidable, some were not; anytime we have an accident we try to mitigate risk,” Wade said.

He also said some of the claims involve student behavior, and an increase in claims is a trend for schools across the nation.

Many of the district’s other insurance costs are also increasing, especially their property casualty insurance.

Wade explained that all property casualty insurance has increased about 30 to 40% due to an increase in claims all across Kentucky. He said there are also fewer insurance providers that offer that insurance.

Despite these increases, the district’s budget is prepared to handle it. 

The board also created a booster club for the Boyle County Middle School cheerleading team.