Soon-to-be Director of Elementary Education Joan Hite, left, with Superintendent Paul Nichols

The Mecklenburg County School Board met Monday evening and named Joan Hite the new director of elementary education. Hite is currently serving as the principal of Park View Middle School.

The school board also heard a brief update on the budget process from Superintendent Paul Nichols, who has been attending meetings with the Board of Supervisors.

“The information that I’m getting from the board is that they are willing and eager to work with us on giving the teacher and staff salary increase as we asked … for 3 percent plus fixing the various scales,” Nichols said. 

The school board is planning to meet Thursday to approve its budget for FY2020. The board is also planning to approve an increase to school lunch prices based on federal requirements. Paid lunches should cost $2.15 this fall, as opposed to $2.05, but breakfast and reduced price lunches will remain the same. The division is moving away from offering meals as a package to adults, but adults will still be able to purchase items.  

The board has also delayed action on naming a mascot for the new combined high and middle schools. Surveys posted online have given the community the opportunity to provide feedback on what attributes to look for in a mascot and, most recently, gave people three options to vote on: a lake hawk, a maverick, and a phoenix. 

Nichols said the division will continue working on that project, as there is some desire to see what other options are available. 

The board also approved a change to its policy regarding salaries for teachers who earn a master’s degree or a doctorate. Prior to the board’s action, teachers who earned a degree after July 1 would not be eligible for the resulting pay increase until the next July. Now, however, the pay increase will be seen the month after proof of the degree is provided to the school division. 

The school board had also scheduled a public hearing on the division’s comprehensive plan for last Monday’s meeting, but no one signed up to speak.