DICKSON – The first meeting for Jacob Tynes as a board member for the Dickson Public Schools was a more than 2-hour marathon on Monday evening, with discussion or votes on topics ranging from testing standards to school security.
“I was somewhat prepared, but at the same time it’s hard to be prepared for a first meeting,” Tynes said on Tuesday. “There was a lot, and I’m still pondering on some of the discussions that we had.”
Tynes replaces longtime Seat 4 member Todd Myers who died unexpectedly in December 2023. Myers served on the board for more than a decade and was serving as board president at the time of his death. Board Vice President Bobby Black assumed the position as president after Myers’s death and is now the longest-serving member currently on the board.
School administrative assistant Hope Hawkins said she expects the board to vote on leadership positions in April.
Immediately after Tynes was sworn in, board members spent the next two hours conducting business for the school district by starting with updates from site principals. Curriculum and Teaching Director Jake Melton also recognized this year’s district-wide teaching awards and gave board members a presentation ahead of spring assessment testing.
Members heavily discussed but did not take any formal action about creating an independent police department within the school district. School resource officer Janson Bazzrea told the board that recent incidents involving parents at sporting events has led to consideration of an accredited police force.
Superintendent Jamie Mitchell said school staff will continue exploring the possibility of a campus police department and reach out to other agencies in the county including Dickson police, the sheriff’s department and the district attorney’s office.
Representatives from Principle Design, LLC, a Norman-based architectural firm, also spoke to board members about advertising for an upcoming bond vote in April. The board was considering how to inform Dickson voters about the proposed upgrades to athletic and agriculture facilities.
The board later retired to executive session after two hours for scheduled discussions on employment matters. Despite the lengthy meeting that spanned a total of more than two-and-a-half hours, Tynes said he appreciated the deep discussion he and fellow board members were able to have about several important topics that could impact the larger community for years.
“That was one of the things I appreciated last night,” he said.
In other business, the board:
- tabled action on the 2024-2025 school year calendar pending further board consideration;
- rejected a proposal to pay off a portion of real property early;
- discussed promotional material with representatives from Norman-based architectural firm Principle Design, LLC, regarding an upcoming bond proposal;
- approved a contract for more than $49,000 to repair bleachers in the west gymnasium;
- approved an agreement with Education Funding Consulting, LLC;
- considered employment for existing site principals and curriculum director.