Though there were 12 items of business before the Oneida Special School District Board of Education Thursday, the fully-attended meeting — with an atypical packed house — was all about just one of them: a vote to name the Oneida High School football stadium in memory of the late Jim May.
In fact, the meeting, which normally takes place on the first Thursday of each month, was postponed a week because one of the board members — Mark Matthews — was on vacation and Director of Schools Dr. Jeanny Hatfield wanted full board attendance for the vote.
The 3-2 vote made it official: Oneida High School football games will now be played at Jim May Memorial Stadium.
With Dr. Nancy Williamson, Dr. Danny Cross and Matthews registering “yes” votes, the ayes had it. Brom Shoemaker and Dorothy Watson opposed the action, with Watson giving a brief statement before tendering her vote.
“In 87 years of football we’ve had a lot of people influence others’ lives,” Watson said. She went on to note that May already has a sign placed in a corner of the end zone, as well as an equipment trailer dedicated to his memory.
Kevin Acres, the OHS public address announcer who spoke before the board at its June meeting to request the naming of the stadium in May’s honor, was pleased with the vote. He said afterwards, “I look forward to welcoming everyone attending and playing the home games to Dr. M.E. Thompson Field, and Jim May Memorial Stadium.”
May died in 1997, after collapsing on the sideline during a win over Cosby.
In other business Thursday, the board unanimously approved a dual enrollment agreement with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology for the 2017-2018 school year, renewed its agreement with the Children’s Center of the Cumberlands, and set a called budget meeting for Monday, Aug. 28, at 7:30 a.m.
The board also gave full approval to the 2017-2018 budget, as well as a raft of fundraiser requests.
Among the fundraising activities approved by the board were several by the high school band — Kona ice, donut sales, fruit sales and candy sales. Other fundraising requests that were approved were t-shirt sales for middle school football, t-shirt and Thirty-One tote sales for middle school girls soccer, Krispy Kreme donut sales for the middle school Incentives program, a Great American Gifts and cookie dough sale for the middle school Incentives program, a Rada cutlery sale for the cafeteria staff and a sticker sale for the high school soccer team.