Judge Bud Oliver made an appearance at Tuesday’s meeting of the city Board of Education to swear in a new superintendent.
Dr. Don Martin, a Tobaccoville resident with more than 30 years in education, took the reins on an interim basis to fill a void caused by the departure of Greg Little to South Carolina.
Among his three decades in education, Martin led the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district from 1994 through 2013.
Since retiring Martin has taught at High Point University for three years and served as a Forsyth County commissioner for a year-and-a-half.
Mount Airy City Schools announced Martin’s appointment on April 6, and he has spent the past four weeks getting up to speed on issues affecting the district.
One of those came up Tuesday night when Martin suggested having an air quality study done at the middle school.
He said he has searched all over the building since someone reported seeing mildew/mold.
Martin said he doesn’t foresee any problem at the school because there doesn’t seem to be any water issues since roof repairs were done. A little scrubbing with some bleach maybe in one closet, he noted, but nothing to alarm parents.
Still, he said the best approach would be to have someone go over the whole place and take air samples; this might only take half an hour.
He added that the district should notify the Department of Labor of the findings and detail how the issue will be rectified.
As for the future of the superintendent’s seat, the school board accepted applications throughout April.
The board held a closed session at Tuesday’s meeting, presumably to discuss potential candidates, but no announcement was made after that session.
• Also at the meeting, the school board agreed to renew a lease agreement with Apple on laptops for teachers.
While called a lease, Justin Robertson, technology coordinator, explained that it was more of a rent-to-own agreement so that the 150 MacBooks are now the property of the district and can be repurposed elsewhere or sold off to recoup some of the lease money.
Robertson said Apple supplied him with a list of third-party vendors who would be glad to buy the laptops to refurbish and resell. Because of strong resale values, the entire group could net between $25,000 and $30,000, he noted.
Does the district get a big discount for buying in bulk, asked board member Mike Marion.
Apple gives a standard 15-percent discount off regular retail prices to educational groups, said Robertson.
One improvement this time will be a longer warranty. Four years ago, the warranty only covered three years, so any repairs that were needed in the past year came out of pocket. This agreement has four years on covered expenses.
Wendy Carriker, who chairs the board, asked about the iPads that the board members use.
Robertson said those are iPad 2 models and are a few years (and generations) old. He said he could look into this and get back to the board.
The school board voted to approve the new lease, but didn’t make any decision on the old models.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.