Two Warner Robins High buildings renamed

PERRY -- Two buildings at Warner Robins High School will have new names in the fall.

At Tuesday’s regular school board meeting, the board voted unanimously to name the band room in honor of E.C. Warnock and the auditorium after Ronnie Barnes.

“Really just looking to recognize two people that committed a lot of time and energy to the kids of Houston County,” Superintendent Mark Scott said.

Warnock was the band director at Warner Robins High for 25 years and was a member of the first band organized in Warner Robins in 1953. During his tenure, the WRHS band received more than 30 superior ratings at state-sponsored events, the highest rating possible.

“He just had a long career there,” Scott said, noting that the renaming of the buildings was initiated by the school, specifically principal Steve Monday, to honor past educators.

Before pursuing a successful business career with A.L. Williams and Associates, now part of Primerica, Barnes taught at Warner Robins High for 17 years. He was also instrumental in starting a variety talent show called The Follies.

“He kind of started that,” Scott said.

While it would be difficult to honor all of the county’s retirees -- 90 called it a career this year alone -- Scott said it was good to “go back to the early days” and recognize educators.

“The history of our county is important,” he said. “It’s not often that we get to recognize people that commit their lives to education.

The board also gave final approval to the budget for next school year, with expenditures projected at $236.7 million. Finalizing the budget before the end of this fiscal year makes the transition to a new school year more seamless, said Stephen Thublin, assistant superintendent for finance and business operations.

“It allows me to go ahead and start the year with a full budget,” he said. “(Board members) take their fiduciary responsibilities very well.”

Board members also passed several updates to conduct policies for students. Many of them simply cleared up the language used, but some brought rules up to date with technological changes.

For instance, with students now allowed to use their own electronic devices at school, it made little sense to disallow the devices on school buses as long as the use wasn’t distracting to the driver, Vice Chairman Fred Wilson said.

“I’m in total support of it,” Wilson said. “We’re making sure we’re in line with what’s needed.”

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.