Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority, Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start

Policy Council Meeting Minutes


Wednesday April 18, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. | Carson Springs Conference Center - Newport, TN


Meeting called to order by

Vickie McElroy

Type of meeting

PC Monthly Meeting


Vickie McElroy

Note taker

Haley Moore

Called to order

10:45 a.m.


Vice Chairperson:

Secretary: Rebecca Trosclair

Treasurer: Greg Beeler

Total Members Present: 20

Quorum Met: Yes






  •  Call to Order/Quorum Check | Presenters: Vickie McElroy, Chairperson


Presentation: Welcomed all members to the meeting.  Vickie announced that a quorum was present.  Vickie thanked everyone who has participated in Policy Council this year.


2. Approval of Minutes | Presenter: Vickie McElroy


Presentation: Members were provided with a copy of March’s meeting minutes in their monthly mail out.  Vickie called for a vote to approve the minutes.   


 Motion by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.                         Seconded by: Rebecca Godfrey, Cocke Co.             

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.




3. Old Business


  • Update on Grant Submission & CLASS Review | Presenter: Curt Amos, Director


Presentation: The grant was submitted 3/29/18.  Regional Office has stated they will be reviewing our application this week and we expect to hear from our Program Specialist shortly after that.  CLASS review scores are back and details are included in the Director’s Report.  Scores are even with the 2017 national average.  Curt is confident that our program is in good shape.  One of the factors affecting the scores is the requirement that a new teacher only had to be in the classroom for 10 days before they were eligible for review and there were classrooms with teacher assistants and no teacher that were also reviewed.  The program will continue to strive to improve scores in the future.


4. New Business


  • Personnel Report | Presenter: Rebecca Trosclair, Secretary

Presentation: Rebecca presented the Personnel report to the Policy Council.  An Office Assistant job description has been revised.  The Personnel Committee recommended the report for approval. 


 Motion by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.                         Seconded by: Sonjia Stevian, Hamblen Co.              

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.


  • Budget Report | Presenter: Greg Beeler, Treasurer

Presentation: Greg presented the Parent Involvement/Policy Council Fund report to the Policy Council.  Greg commented to the Council that Haley has done a wonderful job providing information to the Committee.  Since Finance Committee did not have a quorum, Greg made a motion to approve the reports.


 Motion by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.                         Seconded by: Rebecca Godfrey, Cocke Co.                                                                                             

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.



  • By-Laws | Presenter: Terri Rickard, Parent Involvement Coordinator


     Presentation: Terri told members this is the last official Policy Council meeting for the year, however, members will

     continue to receive information throughout the summer, as they are still serving until a new Council is seated in

     September.  Terri proposed to continue using the by-laws, which were approved in March, to start out next year until

     the new Council can vote on them.


 Motion by: Greg Beeler, Union Co.                         Seconded by: Rebecca Godfrey, Cocke Co.             

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.


  • Approval for CACFP Apps & Possible Grant Submissions | Presenter: Curt Amos


     Presentation: Curt stated the program seeks approval to be able to apply for grants and funds that may come about

in the summer.  CACFP is one that the program would like to apply for in order to receive reimbursement of meals.

In the Federal budget, there is a proposed COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) of 2.2% and the program is waiting on

guidance from Regional Office.  There is also a possibility of EHS expansion funds, as well as Extended Duration funds.

There could potentially be supplemental funds for Health and Safety.   


 Motion by: Michele Gomez, Hamblen Co.               Seconded by: Tina Mauricio, Monroe Co.                 

 No Discussion.                                                      All in favor, motion carried.


Vickie mentioned that all questions concerning the children’s menus continues to be a work in progress and she will be working with Curt and Lisa on menus this summer.  Vickie also mentioned a handout that was provided on volunteering.  She stated that even if your children are moving on to kindergarten, parents are still welcome to come back and volunteer in the classrooms next year.



  • Director’s Report | Presenter: Curt Amos


Presentation: Curt provided an overview of the Director’s report.  Curt attended the TCSW conference, which     recognized a couple of staff members for their SSCBT certification - Dana Helmandollar and Jen Rippy, both FSWs. 
There were a couple of monitoring issues that were dealt with immediately.  CLASS review information is more detailed
in this report.  There have been conversations with the Program Specialist in Atlanta.  A conference call with Captain Bob,
    Regional Office Program Manager discussed supplemental funds and opportunities but no guidance yet.  The     management strategy meeting for the upcoming year is scheduled.  Teresa Cameron does a great job keeping us on     task with the calendar at the meeting.  The program is still struggling with transportation in a few places, so if you know     of anyone willing to drive a bus, encourage them to contact Amanda White.  May is national teacher appreciation month     and Curt encouraged everyone to recognize/thank their teachers next month.       Vickie presented parent questions – For Extended Duration centers, will the center follow school system calendars     especially snow days.  Curt stated that our goal is to as much as possible, however, our program requires 1,020 hours of     attendance and we are actively looking to see if any modifications are needed to our schedules.  Vickie commented that     several parents have stated after May 18th that children will not be coming back to school.  Curt replied that we are     mandated to 1,020 hours so our program is required to strive to meet those hours, even if attendance is low.



  • Audit | Presenter: Megan Barnard, DCEA Budget & Compliance Manager


Presentation: Megan told the Council that the agency has received a clean, unmodified opinion in the Audit for the fiscal year.


  • Child Abuse Awareness Month | Presenter: Tonya Purkey, Curriculum & Assessment Coordinator


     Presentation: Tonya told the members that she once worked for DCS as a case manager for two years.  She was also

     a teacher in EHS prior to her current position.  During her time at DCS, she stated it was very alarming how much

     actually does happen in our towns and not just big cities.  There are several long term effects of child abuse.  It affects

     the whole community, as abused children are more likely to be teen parents, substance abuse users, and have mental

     health issues.  She encouraged everyone to please contact DCS if you ever suspect abuse.  Statistics from 2015 state

     that 7 million children were referred to CPS in the USA - 59% were due to neglect, 27% physical abuse, and 7% sexual

     abuse.  She stated that our staff are excellent advocates for our program’s children.  A handout was provided on

     identifying signs of child abuse.  Reports to DCS can now be made online as well.


     Vickie added comments about child abuse and spoke about a personal story.  She encouraged everyone to report if you

     suspect anything.




  • Parent Literacy Survey/Words of Wisdom | Presenter: Terri Rickard


Presentation: A handout was provided.  Terri encouraged members to write down some advice to new parents next year and she will put the advice in each parent orientation folder.  She also requested members fill out the parent literacy survey if you attended a parent meeting.  This will help the program provide the best services possible.



  • FRED Program | Presenter: Greg Beeler


Presentation: Greg Beeler explained the FRED (Fathers Reading Every Day) program.  Greg encourages male involvement with the students.  When a male is involved in a child’s life, that child is more likely to get a higher education, not be involved in illegal activity, and are more likely to break the chains of poverty.  Curt and Greg were both HS children.  Goals have changed to focus more on school readiness.  Tanya Lombardo, Teacher at Maynardville, initiated the FRED program for her classroom.  Tanya encouraged the male involvement to help gain in-kind hours, as well as providing literacy opportunities for the children.  Greg encouraged everyone to get involved.


  • Parent Reports | Presenters: Parent/Staff Member from each county (listed below)


   Presentations: Each person read a report detailing activities and events that have taken place in each classroom

   in their county, as well as any goals that have been met, such as parents obtaining jobs or going back to school.

  • Blount County – Debbie Gronstrom, FSW
  • Cocke County – Rebecca Godfrey, Parent
  • Grainger County – Reva Moore, FSW
  • Hamblen County – Jessica Cid, Parent
  • EHS – Norma Romero, Teacher
  • Jefferson – Katy Cabatuando, Parent
  • Monroe – Carrie Hamil, Parent
  • Sevier – Heather Baker, Teacher
  • Union – Greg Beeler, Parent


 Greg Beeler also spoke about a personal experience he had dealing with child abuse.  He encouraged everyone to

 please pay attention to children and report anything suspicious to CPS/DCS.


5. Adjournment | Presenter: Vickie McElroy


Presentation: Vickie called for a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Next meeting will be held in September 2018.  


 Motion by: Rebecca Godfrey, Cocke Co.                Seconded by: Michele Gomez, Hamblen Co.

 No Discussion.                                 All in favor, motion carried.                            Meeting Adjourned: 11:41 a.m.


During this time, the “Fancy Hat” contest was held.  Policy Council members were encouraged to come dressed in a fancy hat.

   Most Outrageous Hat: Janet Holt, Cocke Co.

   Most Glamourous Hat: Katy Cabatuando, Jefferson Co.

   Most Creative Hat: Norma Romero, EHS


  • Volunteer Recognition Program | Presenter: Kay Hale, Executive Director, Curt Amos, &

Terri Rickard


Presentation: Following the Policy Council meeting, Kay Hale, Curt Amos, and Terri Rickard expressed their utmost gratitude to all the volunteers who had donated their time to assist in classrooms or work on home activities this year.  They also recognized staff who had worked hard to encourage volunteers in their classrooms.  Eunice Jones, HS Parent and former Policy Council Chairperson, spoke about her personal experience and expressed her gratitude for the HS/EHS program and everything the program has done for her grandchild.  Terri presented the following awards: 


Parents with Most Volunteer Hours

  • Blount County: November Gregory (Porter)
  • Cocke County: Davena Birdsong (New Prospect)
  • Grainger County: Danielle Murphy (Central Point)
  • Hamblen County: Sarangelys Segarra (Judson S. Hill)
  • Early Head Start: Greisy Izaguirre (EHS 1)
  • Jefferson County: Tad Dickerson (White Pine)
  • Monroe County: Chelsey Phillips (Mt. Vernon 1)
  • Sevier County: Logan Kernel (Ridgewood)
  • Union County: Alisha Brown (Maynardville)

Community Volunteers

  • Maggie Sluder
  • Patti Williams

Classroom with the Most Volunteer Hours

  • Blount County: Porter/Suzi Capps
  • Cocke County: New Prospect/Janet Holt
  • Grainger County: Bean Station/Janet Seals
  • Hamblen County: North Hamblen/Annette Potter
  • Early Head Start: EHS 1/Norma Romero
  • Jefferson County: Dandridge/Kandace Haag
  • Monroe County: Madisonville/Regina Hunt
  • Sevier County: Underwood 2/Heather Baker
  • Union County: Maynardville/Tanya Lombardo

Policy Council Members with Perfect Attendance

  • Vickie McElroy
  • Tammy Lackey
  • Elaine Bowers
  • Nita Bateman

Policy Council Members who only missed one meeting

  • Kelly Sandidge
  • Heather Farmer
  • Michele Gomez
  • Valeria Tucker
  • Greg Beeler
  • Chantay Collins