Melvin and Katie Brock, longtime westside bus drivers for the Jackson County School System retired recently with “big checks” presented for “faithful service.”
David Farmer, JCSS director of transportation, and Dr. Selena Blankenship, director of human resources, explained at the February 11 meeting of the Board of Education that Mr. and Mrs. Brock, who rarely missed a day on the job, were leaving with the maximum payment possible for unused sick days, accumulated over the 24 and 21 years, respectively, they had worked for the school system.
Unlike certified teachers, classified personnel cannot roll over unused sick time into their retirement. The local board voted in December 2017 that eligible classified employees with 20 to 120 days of unused sick leave could receive payouts of $500 to $6,750 as an acknowledgment of their contribution to the school system.
Funds come from the savings realized by the school system’s Shared Benefit Plan, which provides an incentive for classified staff to secure health insurance outside the school system through their spouse, parent or other options, like Medicare.
Farmer pointed out he was the third director of transportation the Brocks had worked with — “they outlasted two others,” he said to laughter from the crowd at Maysville Elementary School, where the board meeting was held.
He praised their service, dedication, work ethic and perform-ance. During their years of service, the Brocks drove for West Jackson Elementary School, West Jackson Middle School and Jackson County Comprehensive High School, as well as holding down jobs outside the school system, Farmer said.
“Ms. Katie said they hauled those babies — and that’s what she called them, ‘her babies’ — from Pre-K through graduation,” he said with obvious pride in their service.