Brenda Drake, Director of Communications for MCPS and Clerk of the Board, will be leaving the Montgomery County Schools.
Parents, staff and students recall receiving phone calls with many announcements and updates over the years from Drake, especially during the pandemic.
“Today I announce my departure from MCPS,” said Drake. “For more than 13 years, staff and families in MCPS have welcomed me into their homes to deliver good and not so good news. Sometimes my calls were treated with a smile and other times families let me know that five snow days in a row is too many snow days.”
Drake said her position has not yet been filled. More information will be shared as the hiring process moves forward.
Staffing updates on positions needed to be filled showed progress but with some shortages in custodian staff, special education, and classified staff.
According to the MCPS-MCEA Representation Election for the Administrative Personnel Bargaining Unit, a secret ballot vote of 53 eligible voters showed results of 17 personnel who cast a ballot, representing 32.1%. Of these 17 ballots cast, 12 voted yes on the question of if they would like to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA). An election was conducted for administrative personnel. The results were certified by MCPS counsel, VEA, and BallotPoint Election Services, according to the MCPS Board agenda.
MCPS Board members Jamie Bond and Dana Partin voted against certification of the MCEA as the exclusive representation for the collective bargaining initiative.
Bond also addressed concerns to the board on the need for regular updates to the community associated with the cost of the collective bargaining agreement.
“I had asked what our expense to this point was and I would kind of like that to get on the schedule with whatever is convenient. It doesn’t have to be every month, but I would like for the public to know the cost of being affiliated with doing that venture,” Bond said. “This is something that is a really cost to the division.”
Board Chair Mark Cherbaka said, “I’m fine bringing that up for a topic under new business to discuss next time.”
Superintendent Dr. Bernard Bragen updated the board during the meeting as well on a partnership and grant with Blacksburg Rotary and MCPS, which works to improve reading proficiency in the district. The first school to receive this support was Prices Fork Elementary School. Rotary club members would also participate in the program by doing activities like reading with students.
“Today was the first day,” Bragen said. “We went to visit over at Prices Fork, it was really an exciting place. The adults were really enthusiastic to be there. I’m happy to report that the first Rotarian that we saw there was Mrs. Gunin Kiran, former board member.”
According to Bragen, the program will continue for about six more weeks in the fall and will occur in the spring as well.
October Seniors of the Month were recognized at the Montgomery County Public School Board meeting. They are:
Aidan Ehan Doyle from Auburn High School, Blacksburg High School student Isabella Rose Prevette, Ariya Patel for Christiansburg High School, and Eastern Montgomery High School, Ayden Monroe Gravley.
Blacksburg Lion’s Club was present in recognition of their donation and support in providing swim lessons to all second grade students in the County. John Byers, III was present to receive the plaque.
“We’ve been doing this for several years, as many of you know, and it’s been a really a blessing that we’ve had the resources to do it,” Byers said. “We park cars beside the football stadium at Tech and its not a lot of fun and we miss doing things with our grandkids and picking up trash for 400 cars and things like that, but it’s put us in a position that we got this as long as you guys want to keep doing the swim program.”