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Lafayette County Board of Supervisors agree to partnership in hiring early learning director

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors agreed during their regular monthly meeting to enter into an agreement with Oxford school and city officials, as well as the Lafayette County School Board, to hire and jointly fund an Early Literacy and Reading Development Director to support both school districts.

County Administrator Lisa Carwyle explained to the board the position and program will “help make sure children entering kindergarten are prepared” by working with the local childcare centers.

Supervisor Kevin Frye asked if the director of the program would be working with all childcare centers.

“They will go out into any and all daycares,” explained Board President Jeff Busby, who read a letter from Lafayette County School District Superintendent Adam Pugh favoring the new position.

Carwyle added that this is a one-year agreement that would have to be renewed each year.

Last week, during LOU Excel by 5 Coalition’s quarterly meeting, Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey announced the new position and that Bramlett Elementary principal Suzanne Ryals has been offered the job.

Harvey said he has verbal agreements from Lafayette County School District and Board of Supervisors and the city of Oxford Board of Aldermen to jointly fund the salary for the position and is hopeful the written agreement will be finalized in the next couple of weeks. The agreement would have each entity contributing $25,000 toward Ryal’s salary and benefits, as well as operational costs.

A committee has offered the job to Ryals should it be approved.

Ryals would be working with local childcare centers with the goal of increasing kindergarten readiness, Harvey said.

Ryals has been the principal at BES for six years and was assistant principal at Oxford Elementary for two years before moving to BES. She has 15 years of experience in school administration and has worked in various other school districts around Mississippi before coming to Oxford.

The supervisors were the first to formally agree with the arrangement. If the Oxford Board of Aldermen approve, Ryals will begin her new job on July 1.

Little Free Libraries

The supervisors also approved a request from the Oxford-Lafayette County Public Library to place Little Free Libraries at two county fire stations.

Lafayette County Fire Coordinator Wes Anderson explained the Little Free Libraries would be placed in front of the volunteer fire stations in Paris and Highway 30 and would not hinder operations of the fire stations.

“The public library would supply the books,” Anderson added.

In other matters:

• tabled a request to accept several roads in Tuscan Hills Condos to the county road register for maintenance. Frye suggested more information and conditions of the roads is needed. “We’re not prepared to accept anything today,” Frye said.

• granted preliminary and final commercial plat approval as long as developer John McCurdy includes a land disturbance bond and road bond.

• approved several subdivision plat amendments for lot changes in Wellsgate, Tara and Pine Needle

• approved preliminary subdivision plat for The Heights phase 17, which is 10 lots that have already received city water and sewer approval.

• approved two storage units for Ken Ash Construction Storages.

• set a public hearing for May 1 regarding entering private property on County Road 123 to dispose of a burned and abandoned trailer.