After a swearing-in ceremony for new and re-elected Columbia County school board members Monday, the board approved the zoning of a new elementary school on Mullikin Road.
Regina Buccafusco was re-elected to the school board for the seventh year. This will be her first year as chairwoman.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The zoning moves more than 350 pupils from Riverside Elementary, about 150 from Greenbrier Elementary and nearly 40 from Stevens Creek Elementary and puts them in the new school scheduled to open in August.
The board also approved two waivers to the zoning. Rising fifth-graders at Greenbrier will be allowed to complete their elementary education at the school. Pupils attending Stevens Creek will be allowed to stay to continue receiving Spanish instruction, which won't be offered at the new school.
The one catch to both waiver options is that parents will have to provide transportation for their children to and from school.
Buses will deliver pupils only to the school for which they are zoned, school Su-perintendent Tommy Price said.
"I think the public understood that this was the best option," Price said. "Really, the only feedback we received were from parents from Greenbrier and Stevens Creek wanting their kids to stay for legitimate reasons. So, we went ahead and took care of that for them."
Final approval for the rezoning takes place at the next school board meeting Jan. 11 at the Evans Government Complex Auditorium.
Board members also approved Dr. Sandy Black as the Mullikin Road school's new principal. Black is currently serving as principal of Westmont Elementary School in Martinez.
"I see this as an opportunity of a lifetime," Black said. "It's not often you get to open a new school."
Black said she plans to call a meeting of parents to select a school name, school colors and a mascot.
"I'm not sure when that will take place, but the sooner we get a name for that school, the happier we'll all be," she said.
The zoning and principal decisions came after Columbia County Probate Judge Pat Hardaway swore in new board member Mike Sleeper, and returning members Roxanne Whitaker and Wayne Bridges.
Bridges also was elected to the vice chairmanship of the board. Regina Buccafusco was elected chairwoman. Buccafusco is entering her seventh year on the school board and is serving her first year as chairwoman.
"I'm honored that my fellow board members would show enough faith in me to handle the responsibility," Buccafusco said.
"We have a good board made up of strong leaders that won't rest on their laurels."
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