Chairman of the Board Shelli Dodson presents a plaque of recognition to retiring board member W. O. Johnson. L-r are board members Sam Hudson, Linda Tate, Dodson and Johnson, Director Pete Swafford, JoAnn Shepherd, Rachel Hixson, Greg Johnson, and Greg Dawson.
Aug. 7, 2018 – The Sequatchie County School Board said goodbye to one of its most faithful members Monday. W. O. Johnson chose to retire this year, after serving for 26 years on the board – missing just two meetings in that entire time.
Praising him as his “mentor,” Director of Schools Pete Swafford said Johnson has been “a good steward of the taxpayers. At his last working session, his advice to all of us was, 'Whatever you're doing, just do your best.'”
“It's been a pleasure; it's really an honor to represent your community,” Johnson said. “I've done that all my life. The people elected me seven times. It's really an honor to do your best for those who believe in you.”
Calling Johnson “a real gentleman,” Johnny Cordell, who served as school superintendent for 20 years, said, “He was here when I came, and he was here when I left.”
W. O. Johnson first became involved in the Sequatchie County School System when his community of Lone Oak lost its school. He and his brother, Marvin, challenged the at-large election of school board members, which often left the outlying communities under-represented.
When the school system changed to election of one board member from each district, W. O. was the first one elected for Lone Oak (Dist. 8), and he has been returned every election since.
The school board held a reception for Johnson following the regular monthly meeting Monday night.
In regular business, the school board voted to change their meeting times from 7 p.m. CDT to 6 p.m.
They also approved the school system's 2018-19 budget, with total available revenues of $37,375,017 and expenditures of $21,481,911.
In other business, the Sequatchie County School Board:
- Accepted three technology bids.
- Accepted three custodial bids.
- Approved 2018-19 bus routes and a new traffic pattern for the buses that improved getting bus riders off campus from 3:20 p.m. To 3:08 p.m.
- Heard Supervisor for Attendance and Transportation Melissa Cordell introduce Andy Long as the new Alternative School supervisor.
- Approved the 21st Century grant for before-school, after-school, and summer school classes, and a $2-per-hour increase for teachers working with those programs.
- Approved a budget resolution for federal projects.
All votes were unanimous, and all members of the school board were present.
The next meeting of the Sequatchie County School Board is Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. The board normally meets the first Monday of each month, but the September meeting is on a Tuesday because Monday is Labor Day.
Meetings are at the Central Office on Cordell Drive in Dunlap, and are open to the public.
Members of W. O. Johnson's family were present for the reception following the board meeting Monday night. L-r are: Grandsons Arron and Andrew, W. O. and Barbara Johnson, son Tommy Johnson and wife Kari.