CCBOE thanks school resource officers, approves more than $2M in facility improvements


Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette poses with Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry and the system’s School Resource Officers Thursday at the Cullman County School Board meeting. / W.C. Mann

HOLLY POND – In the wake of recent violent school tragedies across the country, the Cullman County Board of Education (CCBOE) took time out of its meeting at Holly Pond High School Thursday evening to recognize and thank Sheriff Matt Gentry and his team of School Resource Officers for their service in keeping area schools safe.

As students distributed gift bags to the sheriff and his deputies, CCBOE Superintendent Shane Barnette said, “I can’t brag enough on our resource officers and Sheriff Gentry, and I told them today as we were having to work through an issue today, I said I feel like sometimes our school system’s their number one customer.  But I’m really proud that you guys are there. I know you have our backs, and I know that everything that you guys do (is) to keep our kids safe; I don’t ever want you to think we don’t appreciate you, because we do.”

Resource Officers:

  • Cold Springs – Boyd Posey
  • Cullman Area Technology Academy/Child Development Center – Sgt. Randall Chambers
  • Fairview – Jeff Lawson
  • Fast Track/Rebound – Jimmy Posey and Neal Whitlock
  • Good Hope – Eric Robertson
  • Hanceville – Chad Whaley
  • Harmony/Cullman Area Resource Education – Sgt. Arvel Allison
  • Holly Pond – Shane Chambers
  • Parkside – Matthew Rutherford
  • Vinemont – Jim Butts
  • Welti – Lt. Erik Ryan
  • West Point – Kevin Folds

Facility improvements

The board voted to accept the following bids for facility improvements:

  • $213,800 from A&S Electrical for electrical and HVAC upgrades and renovations at the Child Development Center
  • $68,792 from Miller Roofing for reroofing and QZAB renovations at Fairview High School
  • $1,884,497 from KC Construction for reroofing, HVAC and electrical upgrades and renovations at the Cullman Area Technology Academy
  • $58,750 from A&S Electrical for electrical upgrades to the cafeteria at Hanceville High School

Faculty, staff and team recognitions

Barnette commended the system’s transportation department for receiving a state Award of Excellence in bus safety for having less than 10 percent major deficiencies in the state inspection.  

Melissa “Missy” Donaldson of Holly Pond Elementary School was recognized for her nomination to Jacksonville State University’s Teacher Hall of Fame.

Letha Miller of Holly Pond Elementary School and LaTisha Jackson of Good Hope High School were recognized as the CCBOE’s nominees for Alabama Teacher of the Year in their respective divisions.

In his report at the end of the meeting, Barnette congratulated the Fairview High School basketball team for winning the county championship.

Other board business

The board approved a block of resignations, leaves of absence, transfers, appointments, non-faculty coaches, substitutes and contract changes, but did not immediately release the list of affected employees.

The following expenditures were approved:

  • $25 per hour to Kim Kanaday as a part-time tutor at Hanceville Middle School
  • $800 to Daniel Moore as athletic director and C2C manager at Cold Springs Elementary School
  • $60 to Robert Strane and $260 to Geoff McGukin for keeping the clock for Fairview High School basketball games
  • $750 to Jacy Douglas as yearbook sponsor at Parkside School
  • $500 to Josh Drake to coach the archery program at Vinemont Elementary School
  • $100 per day for four days to Rebecca Rodriguez to attend the State Department of Education’s “Failure in Not an Option” workshop

The board approved requests to surplus a hot/cold bar from Garden City School, pass-through warmer and pass-through cooler from Good Hope High School, and a Hobart mixer from Hanceville High School.

The board also approved the following out-of-state field trip requests:

  • Fairview High School physics and AP chemistry classes to Atlanta for Math and Science Day at Six Flags, April 2
  • Good Hope High School math department to Atlanta for Math and Science Day at Six Flags, April 2
  • West Point High School softball team to Fayetteville, Tennessee for a softball tournament, April 20
  • Fairview High School anatomy class to Atlanta for the “Bodies” exhibit, April 23
  • West Point High School scholars’ bowl team to Rosemont, Illinois for the Middle School National Scholars’ Bowl Championship Tournament, May 10

The board approved a recommendation from Barnette to suspend a classified employee for three days without pay.  The name of the employee and offending action were not released.

Barnette announced that Wednesday, April 4, which as a first Wednesday is usually a half day, will be a full day.  Several recent short-term school closures created a need for more instructional time before the end of the year.

The CCBOE’s next meeting will be April 19 at 6 p.m. in the Good Hope High School lunchroom, with work session at 5:30.  The public is invited to attend.

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