QISD board offers staff $500 COVID incentive

By Larry Tucker
Posted 11/19/20

Quitman ISD school board members voted to give a $500 COVID-19 pandemic staff retention incentive to each district employee.

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QISD board offers staff $500 COVID incentive


Quitman ISD school board members voted to give a $500 COVID-19 pandemic staff retention incentive to each district employee.

Board member Jane Herring gave an impassioned presentation to introduce the measure.

“This is only the second time in all these years I have asked for something to be put on the agenda so it’s pretty important to me,” she said. “I mean every employee is included, custodians, cafeteria ladies, maintenance and all the way up to Rhonda (Turner). The job they are doing now is not what it was when they signed their contracts. They have gone way above and beyond of what is not a normal year. The teachers don’t know at the end of the day if they will be back tomorrow, the custodians don’t know if they will be cleaning rooms or doing a deep clean, nobody knows, we don’t know, none of us know. All of our staff has gone above and beyond.”

Herring said it is a stressful situation.

“I know the administrators have been helping the cafeteria ladies,” she said. “We are short on food service; we are short on custodial services. I want the staff to know that we understand and are with them, and we appreciate their efforts. We want them to stay and continue all during the year. I suggest a $500 COVID stipend that doesn’t compensate at all for all the number of extra hours they have worked. We consider them a part of the team and appreciate their efforts.”

Outgoing board member Raymond Peek said, “Anybody that has family or a friend involved knows the challenges they have had over the last few months. The $500 stipend is not enough and I wish we could do more,” Peek added. 

The cost of the program is $102,500 and the motion passed unanimously.

The board approved adding Business Manager Kari Wilson to the authorized signatures at BTH Bank. Superintendent Rhonda Turner introduced Connie Lutrell as her new administrative assistant replacing Wilson who is now the business manager after the departure of Kayla Marrs.

The board honored Peek for his years of service to the district as a board member. New board member Vanessa Simpson was unable to attend due COVID-19 protocol because of a family member testing positive for coronavirus. She will be sworn in at the December meeting.

The board took no action after a closed session.

Joe Wayne Reynolds spoke to the board during the citizen’s comments concerning changes he feels need to be addressed in the Quitman athletic program.

“I encourage the school board to make athletics great again. I understand there is no crystal ball here, but we do know the process has been broken and needs to be replaced,” Reynolds said.