After soliciting bids for legal services two months ago, and reviewing them last month, the Barrow County Board of Education agreed Tuesday to hire a Gainesville law firm to handle personnel issues and a local attorney to handle the rest of the school system’s legal affairs, with the exception of land acquisition.
Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP, the firm that will handle personnel issues, bills clients at “an hourly rate for work actually performed,” the bid states. Those rates are $225 per hour for partner time, $185 per hour for an associate, $155 per hour for an education specialist and $80 per hour for paralegal time “where appropriate.”
Daniel Murphy of the Winder firm McLocklin & Murphy, LLP, was chosen to handle other matters, such as tribunals and other disciplinary hearings. His rate is $150 per hour. Both firms have extensive experience in representing school systems.
After a one hour closed meeting, the board voted to approve the following personnel action:
- Kerri Williams was hired as a special education teacher at Russell Middle School.
- Elizabeth Austin, Julia Chacon, Donald Norman and David Stotts were hired as bus drivers. Teresa Dotson was hired as a special education bus monitor.
- Justin Edwards was hired as a technology specialist and Tina Mingus was hired as a special education para-professional.
- New-hire substitutes are: Skyler Davis, April Edwards, Antoinette Gilmore, Justin Heath, Heather Lansford, Elizabeth Lee, Emily Lovinggood, Jessica Riley and Courtney Underwood.
- Separations were: Pricilla Adams, Kandice Anderson, Donna Ariail, Joyce Banks, Frances Bentley, Clayton Bonnell, Becky Brinson, Robert Carter, Joyce Chandler, Sharon Davis, Phyllis Eubanks, Donald Garrison, Ellen Gentry, Frances Gorham, Larry Greene, June Hammond, Bernice Herring, Jerry Johnson, Johnnie Johnson, Julia Leggin, Leann Mitchell, Sandra Nanfeldt-Lott, Christina Operacz, Paul Ozug, Wanda Pentecost, Sharon Sims, John Slater, Betty Wallace, Pamela Watts, Sandra Wells and Patricia Wheeler.
In other action, the board:
• Agreed to seek “in house training” for the six-hours per year the state requires each board member to obtain. In previous years, members have attended conferences at a cost of $1,500-$2,000 per member, but for the past three years the board has opted to cut that cost by structuring its own training which is overseen by RESA at no additional expense to the school system.