Roanoke County Superintendent Ken Nicely said Thursday a new advisory council will help strengthen the voice of parents in school systemwide decisions.

Nicely told the Roanoke County School Board he plans to form the council to unite parents from all 27 county schools. The council would act as an advocate for students, collaborate with the school division, inform school policies and provide information to other parents, Nicely said.

Roanoke County Public Schools already has advisory councils for employees and students.

The 29-member parent council would consist of one representative from the parent organizations of each elementary and secondary school, including the Burton Center for Arts and Technology. PTA, Parent-Teacher-Student Associations and Parent-Teacher-Student Organizations as well as booster clubs are applicable parent organizations.

Parent representatives would be chosen annually by the governing board of each school’s parent organization.

Nicely and the division’s community relations specialist, Chuck Lionberger, would also serve on the committee.

The council would hold at least three in-person meetings each year at central office, led by a chairperson who would serve the role for one year, but could be reappointed by the council to serve multiple terms.

Nicely asked Laura Bowman, whose son is a rising Cave Spring High student, to serve as chairwoman in the council’s first year. Bowman, a former president of the Roanoke County Council of Parent Teacher Associations, had first proposed that the school system create an advisory council a year ago.

Nicely credited Bowman and Lionberger for helping to develop the council.

School board members voiced support for the creation of the council. “I think it’s long overdue,” said vice chairman Tim Greenway. “I think it’s a wonderful way to engage our parents in the process.”

In other school business, the board named Will Krause as the new principal at Glen Cove Elementary School, effective July 1.

Krause will replace Stephanie Hogan, who was named executive director of elementary instruction last month.

Krause was a teacher at Cave Spring Elementary from 2006 to 2012. He taught at Cave Spring Middle in 2013, then left the county to serve as an assistant principal at James Breckinridge Middle in Roanoke.

Krause began working as an assistant principal at Botetourt County’s Read Mountain Middle in 2017.

Krause serves as an assistant coach of the Cave Spring High boys soccer team, and previously served on the coaching staff at Hidden Valley Middle and Hidden Valley High girls soccer teams.

Krause told the school board he’s “excited and honored” to become principal at Glen Cove Elementary. “I feel like I’m coming home,” he said.

Nicely said he’s confident Krause will be an outstanding principal.

The school board on Thursday also approved the third change order request for the Cave Spring High renovation expansion project. The new costs total $54,402. Both the project’s main contractor, Avis Construction Co., and the school system sought the change orders.

With the approval, the $43.4 million project cost has increased by $132,714. The project’s contingency account has a balance of about $1.39 million.

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