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News Education

Last October, Nantahala School received a Macon County Academic Foundation grant to build a marine habitat. Through the grant, donations, and support from other classes, we have established a unique saltwater aquarium that has greatly enriched the learning environment at Nantahala School. This aquarium provides many educational opportunities and allows students to interact with marine life in a way that has never been possible at NHS. Initially, I thought that caring for these fish would be a simple task. I soon learned that it was not.

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Monday night, the Macon County Board of Commissioners met in Highlands for its regularly scheduled May meeting. Among items discussed, was County Manager Jack Horton's 2013-2014 proposed budget. By law, Horton must present a balanced budget to commissioners to review as a balanced budget must be approved and submitted to the state by June 18.

With possible state budget cuts to education still to come and the uncertainty of funding sources, the school system was forced to turn to the county in April to request $9,567,455 from county commissioners for the 2013-14 school year; an increase of $2,656,455 from this school year.

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Final decision contingent on county’s contribution to school budget

During a continuation meeting on Monday night, the Board of Education met in closed session to discuss budget shortfalls. After the closed session, Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan announced that he would be sending a letter to 31 probationary first-year teachers to notify them that at this point in the budget process, their positions would not be filled in the 2013-14 year.

“Due to a significant decline in the financial resources of the school system, I will recommend to the School Board that all teachers who have a one-year probationary license that ends June 30, 2013, or a lateral entry license not be renewed for the 2013-14 school year,” said Dr. Duncan. “The school board will act on my recommendation at its next meeting on May 28. There are certain benefits available to the teachers but those are incomplete until such time as the board acts on the recommendation.”

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Members of Southwestern Community College’s Health Information Technology Class of 2013 received their pins during a ceremony on May 6 on the Jackson Campus. From left are (back) Jon Martineau, Michelle Dresser, Donna McDaniel, Marta Castanet; (front) Barb Grindstaff, Deanna Swafford, and Jessica Hurst.

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