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Unicoi County school board tags incumbent chair, vice-chair for another year of service

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Sep 14, 2018 at 4:43 PM

ERWIN — The newly reconfigured Unicoi County Board of Education conducted its first meeting since the August general election on Thursday with new 1st District board member Tammy Wilson Tipton filling the seat vacated by the county’s new mayor, Garland “Bubba” Evely.

In is first order of business, the panel unanimously re-elected two familiar faces to the board’s top offices.

Tyler Engle, who was out of town on business but participated in Thursday's meeting via teleconference link, was re-elected board chairman and Steve Willis was re-elected vice chairman.

Board member Steve Scott was unanimously elected to serve as the board’s representative on the school system’s Athletic Council, replacing board member Glenn Fisher as Athletic Council representative.

In other business on Thursday, the board received a summary presentation on the school system’s two-part summer reading program.

Elementary Curriculum Supervisor Jennifer Lingerfelt told the board more than 500 students were impacted by program, including students selected from each of the county’s elementary schools to take part in a one-month Reading to be Ready camp and others served by the schools’ touring Aspire Book Bus.

Lingerfelt said the goal of both programs was prevent “the summer slide” in reading proficiency that can reduce a child’s reading level by as much as three months.

The grant-funded Reading to be Ready camp included books that children were allowed to keep at home and weekly field trips tied to the topics the students were reading and writing about, including various aspects of local Appalachian culture.

The Aspire Book Bus, a school bus retrofitted to provide a mobile library and comfortable reading area for students, was supported by grants and a variety of community partners, including area businesses that collected books the children were allowed to take from the bus. Second Harvest Food Bank also contributed to the program, providing free lunches for students who visited the bus at stops across the county.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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