School board welcomes new member

PENDLETON — Mark Brizendine, a 31-year veteran of the Anderson police department, was sworn in Thursday, July 6, as the newest South Madison Community School Corp. board member.

He will complete the term of Terry Auker, who resigned recently. Brizendine was appointed by the South Madison Community School Corp. board members to complete the term, which runs through 2019.

He thanked the board members for their work and for giving him a chance to serve the district.

“I certainly appreciate the time, the opportunity and your support,” Brizendine told the board. “I will certainly work as hard as I can.”

Brizendine’s wife, Joanne, has been a teacher in Anderson for 22 years, and as a police officer, he said he has plenty of experience with all ages of students.

“I spent 16 years as a D.A.R.E. officer in the schools,” he said. “In Anderson, we taught them in kindergarten, and in the ’90s, we were in the freshman health classes and senior government classes. Back in the day in Anderson, we had 20 schools, and I was in all of them.”

Brizendine added that, as an appointee, he feels extra responsibility to serve the needs of local students, their parents and the community overall.

“I feel an obligation because I wasn’t voted in,” he said. “I do want to get out there in the community when I get my feet under me. I want to find out what is important to them. I know I’m really representing the people, even though they didn’t vote for me. I look forward to it.”

In other district business:

• The board approved three new non-resident students, bringing the total to 69. Sixty-three are new students, while the remaining six are continuing. Assistant Superintendent Sandra Hudson said several grade levels are full and will not be able to receive more non-resident students.

“Kindergarten at Pendleton, third grade at East (Elementary), and grade five at Maple Ridge,” she said. “Those are at capacity now.”

• Hudson also outlined middle school textbook fees for the 2017-18 school year. She said the average for seventh grade will be $115 to $150, while the average cost for eighth grade will be $100 to $150. Those fees are largely unchanged from a year ago, which meets a request from Superintendent Joe Buck.

“They’re very close,” she said. “Mr. Buck asked us to keep a lid on the fees, they’re almost the same as last year.”

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Rob Hunt covers news, sports and other happenings in South Madison County. He can be reached at or (765) 778-2324.