HHS Baseball supporters present proposal for indoor facility

When the Haywood County School Board met in session on December 9, one item on the agenda was a request from baseball and softball supporters to build an indoor facility for the baseball and softball teams. Other items included recognition of the latest 30+ Club member, TSBA Leadership reports, a report on the Tennessee Promise Program and a look at the State Report Card and our system’s results. Superintendent of Schools Teresa Russell also reported that the Central Office float in the Christmas parade won first place.


Opening her Celebration of Schools segment, Superintendent Russell presented Dannon Eubanks, her daughter, who has qualified as a member of the prestigious HHS 30+ Club. To earn this recognition, Dannon scored a 30 or above on the ACT. Mrs. Russell presented her with a certificate and a pin, and a plaque with her picture will be placed in the front hall of HHS along with her fellow club members.

Tennessee Promise

In the Director’s Report, Mrs. Russell introduced Lisa Hankins and Martha Lyle Ford, who gave a report about the Tennessee Promise Program. This is Governor Haslam’s program that will pay tuition and books for two years to a junior college or trade school for any high school graduate who qualifies. At Haywood High School, they reported that close to 100 percent of the 203 seniors have registered. Not all have attended the required meetings, but they are offering one more meeting to give students the opportunity to be eligible for this money. Some didn’t attend because they are going to four-year colleges, others are going into the military, and some couldn’t make the meetings because of scheduling conflicts. Mrs. Ford, who is the HHS representative, reported that after the holidays, she and others will begin helping the students fill out the FASFA forms for college.

Baseball Indoor Facility

Mike Coburn, representing supporters of the HHS baseball and softball teams, gave a presentation to the board asking them to provide for the teams an indoor facility. The group is asking for a 40 x 70-foot (2,800 sq. foot) building – floor, walls and roof – just the shell, to be built on the Tamm side of the baseball field. Coburn said the players and supporters will conduct fundraisers to pay for the rest of the facility and the equipment. The school gives the baseball team about $1,300 each year for the sport, and the team raises about $23,000 in additional funds to pay for the rest of their needs.

Coburn said the purpose of having this building is to make the team more competitive, change the community’s baseball culture, provide our student athletes more opportunity to further their athletic careers, and hone their skills. The team last year had a better season than it has ever had, going from District champs to the regional and state levels of competition. There are now five athletes actively seeking scholarships to play baseball.

The best estimate for the building, Coburn added, is $30 per square foot or $84,000.

Director Russell said the board will meet soon to talk about it and come back to meet with them after the first of the year. She thanked him for the presentation.

TSBA Reports

Following the baseball request, board members each talked about the sessions they participated in at the Tennessee School Board Association meeting they attended recently.  They said the sessions and session leaders were very informative as they talked about ideas how to encourage teachers and students to be successful in the classroom. Some talked about more technology in the classroom and how to prepare more students to be qualified for manufacturing jobs.

HMS Tornado Safe Space

CFO and Assistant Superintendent Vincent Harvell reported that because of the recent construction of the HMS Tornado Safe Space and the expansion of concrete on the property, rainwater run-off has been an issue. Cary Hinson of Hinson Construction, who built the tornado safe space, is dealing with the issue. He put out a bid on having the issue addressed, and D. C. Construction won the bid for $27,000 to do some grading and other work at the school.

Tennessee State Report Card

Mrs. Russell gave board members and visitors an overview of the Tennessee State Report Card. First she showed the statistics page for the state for comparison to Haywood County. Then she went over the details of the Haywood County Schools report.

The entire report card may be viewed on the Tennessee Department of Education website at http://tn.gov/education/data/report_card/index.shtml. On the Profile page, scroll down to where it shows the State of Tennessee, click on the dropdown and select Haywood County Schools to view the local information and scores.

Mrs. Russell made several announcements to close the meeting. The next board meeting will be January 13 at 6 p.m.