The Oxford School Board approved the hiring of Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones as assistant to the superintendent, a newly created position, at the July 18 meeting.
New superintendent David Woods, whose first day with the district was on July 1, said that Billings-Jones will be overseeing curriculum and instruction as well as professional development. She will also be leading the effort to secure competitive grants.
Billings-Jones was the superintendent of the Lakeland School District in northern Lackawanna County for the last ten years. She has spent a total of 24 years in education.
“She comes with a wealth of experience,” Woods said.
Billings-Jones said that the duties that she will have in Oxford—grant-writing, professional development, and curriculum and instruction—are similar to the ones that she enjoyed the most as a superintendent of a small school district.
“I’m looking forward to all the initiatives that I’m hearing about,” said Billings-Jones. “I’m excited about the opportunity here. I like being able to implement programs that will allow students to be successful.”
The board also approved a contract extension for Charles L. Lewis as Business Administrator. Tighe said that Lewis’ contract now extends through Aug. 31, 2018.
School board vice president Joseph Tighe said that Lewis has always worked diligently to find ways for the district to contain costs.
He’s always been a go-to person for the board when there’s an issue,” Tighe said. “He’s a great asset to the district in my viewpoint.”
In his superintendent’s report, Woods said that Monday, Aug. 26 will be the first day of school for the 2013-14 school year. The fall sports season will get underway on Aug. 12 with completed physicals due before that.
Board member Howard Robinson, who serves as a liaison with the Chester County Intermediate Unit, said that the Intermediate Unit’s technical college high school is starting a certification program in elementary education that will provide training comparable to that of a four-year-college.
Board member Joe Scheese reported that the Technology Committee is evaluating a leasing program with Apple to see how much it would cost to provide iPads to all students at the high school. The district has already finalized plans to provide the tablets to all seniors in the high school. The hope is that the district will be able to speed up the process of providing the devices to all students in the high school.
“We’re pushing to make sure this happens before school starts,” Scheese said.
The board also approved the appointment of Rinaldi & Poveromo to serve as the solicitor for the district for the 2013-14 school year.
Kristin Gent the coordinator of the Oxford chapter of Kacie’s Cause asked the school board to pass a resolution showing its support for the group’s efforts, and to share the approved resolution with neighboring school districts.
The school board will meet again on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.