City board recognizes athletes, coaches, thespians, educators


Coaches and members of the Cullman Middle School eighth-grade football team were recognized for their second consecutive undefeated season. / Nick Griffin

CULLMAN – The Cullman City School Board met on a rainy Tuesday evening for its last official meeting of 2017. The event was held in Cullman High School’s Tillman Hall to make room for all the students who were invited to be recognized for their achievements. The hall quickly ran out of chairs, and parents, students and faculty alike filled out the back to be a part of the standing-room-only affair.

To start the meeting, Cullman Middle School Band Director Linda Bean called eighth-grade student David Pipes to perform a song on the piano. West Elementary’s Elizabeth Shaddix was recognized for being named the Elementary School Counselor of the Year by the Alabama School Counselors Association. (See more at

Shaddix was followed by Erica Ball and the Cullman High School Competition Cheer Squad. The competition squad is coming off a 6A state championship win in November, its second in as many years, and 12th overall, and is resting up over the holidays to get ready for the national competition in February. Ball is the team’s head coach and had a lot of people to thank when her team was recognized.

“I want to start off by thanking Josh and Lacy Stancil; they are our community coaches and I absolutely could not do this without them,” Ball said. “They are the biggest part so I’m just super thankful for them for joining us this year and we hope to keep them around for a lot of years.”

Ball went on to talk about the sport and the work that her team and her coaches have put in to get this far.

“The girls work really hard; competition cheer is a different entity than school cheer. If you have not ever been to a competition, we have two and a half minutes on the mat. There’s no redos, so I try to tell my coaches there’s no overtime, there’s no halftime speeches to try and fix it, it’s two and a half minutes and that’s all you get. We’ve had some great performances, they won state in back to back years and I think that was the 12th state title for Cullman Cheer. We’re headed to nationals in February and hope to continue to advance there so we’re super excited. These girls are working very, very hard. They practice a lot of hours during the week; we’re taking one week off for Christmas and then we’ll be right back at it to get ready for nationals in February.” (See more at

Up next was the Cullman High School Theatre Department. The students there were being recognized for their Best in Show performance of “Scrooge: The Musical” at this year’s state Walter Trumbauer Festival. Director Wayne Cook was very proud to talk about his students and his staff.

“I’d like to give a special thank you to (Choir Director) Sarah Skinner. I have to acknowledge her, she’s my partner and she needs to be up here as well, she’s been a huge help,” Cook said. “We’re very proud; believe it or not this is the theatre version of a state championship, that’s what its like so we’re very proud of the kids. Thank you all so much for this recognition.” (See more at

Closing out the night’s recognitions were the seventh- and eighth-grade Cullman Middle School football teams. The seventh-grade team was recognized for its undefeated season in 2017 while the eighth graders were honored for their second consecutive undefeated season at Cullman Middle School. Head Coach Gerald Turner was there to be recognized with his players and started by talking about his eighth-grade class.

“These guys work very hard and put in a lot of time and I’m so proud of them. I love these guys,” Turner said. “They went undefeated last year as well so they did in seventh and eighth grade. This is our fourth group to do that in my 10 years here so I’m very proud of them. I’m just the head coach, but I’ve got some great assistant coaches here. They’re great with the kids and they love them and work hard with them. I’m so proud of how hard these guys worked and they’re going to make great high school players and I want them to continue on what we started at the middle school. Not only on the football field but how they carry themselves, their character and in the classroom.”

Turner introduced his seventh-grade unit next, excited about the future potential of his talented young group.

“This seventh-grade team went undefeated, and the pressure was kind of on these guys because every time my seventh-grade team goes undefeated that’s what we expect of our guys the next year. That’s what we teach them over there; we don’t want to just play the game, we want to play the game to win so the pressure is on them. We’re going to go to work come January and get read for the spring and then next season.”

After the recognitions were wrapped up, Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall introduced two new temporary members of school’s Math Department, Lacy Stancil and Sadie Gregory. The two new additions will be filling two spots that came open due to family medical leave.

Those announcements were followed by the board approving a list of items on this month’s agenda:

– November 2017 payroll of $2,034,644.29, invoices paid of $386,349.99, financial statements and bank reconciliations

-Approval of agenda

-Approval of the following Head Start items:

Expenditures Report for November 2017
Health/Nutrition/Disabilities/Enrollment Report for November 2017
1st Trimester CLASS Scores – Fall 2017
1st Trimester Outcomes Report – 2017/2018

-Permission for Cullman High School Competition Cheer Squad to travel to Orlando, Florida Feb. 9-13, 2018 for the National High School Cheerleading Competition

-Permission to surplus old football jerseys from Cullman High School

-Permission for CHS Quarterback Club to sponsor a field trip to the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee on Dec. 29, 2017 for senior players and cheerleaders

-Approval of revised Board Policy School Board Operations 2.1.2 Officers. This item was brought back from Policy Review for consideration.

-Approval of HR-PI-RI Cullman City Schools Employee Handbook                                          

-Approval of Cullman High School Athletic and Extracurricular Handbook

-Permission for Cullman High School to conduct Night School Credit Recovery from Jan. 18 – May 17, 2018

-Permission to contract with Ken Gleaton and Erin Tidwell to facilitate Cullman High School Night School Credit Recovery

-Permission to contract with Rebecca Still to provide secretarial and receptionist duties for Central Office as needed beginning Feb. 5, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2018

The board’s next work session will be Tuesday, Jan. 16 at noon back in Tillman Hall at the high school. The next board meeting will follow at 12:30 in the same location.

Copyright 2017 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.