State Superintendent of Education Mackey, others visit Cullman City, County Schools

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Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey, left, stands with Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, Alabama Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman and Cullman Area Technology Academy Principal Billy Troutman. Mackey toured several schools in both the Cullman City Schools and Cullman County Schools systems Friday. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

Updated 2-1-19 1:43 p.m.

CULLMAN – Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey visited Cullman City Schools and Cullman County Schools Friday.  Mackey, along with Deputy State Superintendent Dr. Jeff Langham, made stops at the Cullman City Board of Education, Cullman City Primary School and Cullman High School Friday morning.  Mackey, Langham and Alabama State Department of Education Board Member Dr. Cynthia McCarty began their tour of Cullman County Schools shortly after.

According to the city school board office, district personnel, school principals, Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson, Mackey and Langham visited classrooms, observed students during instructional activities and had opportunities to speak with students, reading coaches, custodians and teachers.

"The two state dignitaries were genuinely impressed with our school facilities and the quality of instruction and classroom management that was apparent as they toured," said a statement from the office.

Mackey and Langham also attended a special-called Cullman City School Board meeting Friday morning.

The group's schedule also included tours of the Cullman County Board of Education central office, Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA), Parkside School, West Point Intermediate School, Good Hope High School and Good Hope Primary School with Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette and others.

“As I’ve said for a while, we have some wonderful things going on in Cullman County, as you know and  many of people who live here,” said Barnette. “A lot of times people from Montgomery and different parts of the state don’t have the opportunity to see all the great things going on. So, we’ve been talking over the last few months, and he (Mackey) wanted to come and bring some of his staff and just see it first-hand.”

Barnette continued, “I’m always bragging on our teachers and what they’re doing in the classroom. We’re winning awards left and right…some of the things our students have made are going to be on the International Space Station (see, so we worked out a time where he could see it first-hand. I think he’s been very impressed with what’s going on in Cullman County. We’re probably one of the less-funded school districts in Alabama, but we’re doing more with the money we get, so it’s been very exciting.”

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