Kevin Strickland, an assistant principal at Armuchee High School, has been named the new principal of Model High School for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

He will replace retiring principal Scott Savage. His post was approved at a Monday night Floyd County School Board meeting that happened at Pepperell High School.

This won’t be Strickland’s first go-round at the high school. He served as the assistant principal at Model for two years, then moved over to Armuchee High for one year. Prior to this, he said he worked in Rome City Schools for 21 years. He served as the athletic director and coach of the Rome High girls’ basketball team from 2003 until 2015.

“I’m very honored and humbled that they would trust me with such an important position,” Strickland said. “I’m really excited about the opportunity that the board has given me to go out and be a part of the Model community again.”

Superintendent Jeff Wilson said Model’s LSGT recommended Strickland to be the principal, which had much weight on his decision.

“Kevin is a fantastic school administrator and will do a wonderful job as our principal at Model,” he said.

Also on Monday’s agenda was another look at the issue of nonpayment for student lunches. For a few months, the board has discussed ways to address the lunch debt, which has hovered between $31,000 and $32,000.

Board members appear to be leaning toward a policy that will allow students who owe $50 or more to be given an alternative lunch instead.

The policy would only apply to middle and high school students, according to Wilson. Elementary school students with unpaid lunch balances will still be given regular meals.

Some of the ideas listed in a presentation by Donna Carver, head of child nutrition, include not allowing students to participate in extras like prom and field trips. She said that when some personnel told students they wouldn’t be allowed to participate in prom, they paid their lunch money quickly.

Board members have stressed the importance of filling out free and reduced lunch forms. Prior to January 2019, Floyd County Schools had a free lunch system, but it was costing too much money, Wilson said.

Right now, lunch for elementary school students has a daily rate of $2.25 and it’s $2.50 for middle and high school students. If families qualify for free and reduced lunch, it’s $0.40 per day.

Two community members addressed Wilson after the meeting with concerns about the lunch debt but declined to comment on record. One of their concerns was regarding buildings, because they felt that if schools were being built, the lunch debt should be addressed, too.

Wilson explained that money for building schools comes from the ELOST fund, which the system is not allowed to use to pay off the lunch debt.

They also talked to board member Melinda Strickland.

“They don’t want to see children punished,” Strickland said. “Another concern was that the public may not know how to fill out the (free and reduced) form.”

She said anyone with ideas on how to address the issue should contact Wilson or the board members.

The free and reduced lunch form is listed on the Floyd County School website. The school system also details who is qualified for free and reduced lunch.

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