CCBOE says new tax already having a positive impact

Aistin Jeffrey (AJ) Gable, a second grader at Hanceville Elementary School, poses for a photo with Cullman County School Board Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Revenue from the new half-cent sales tax is bringing much-needed updates to area schools sooner than expected. At its meeting Thursday evening, the Cullman County Board of Education (CCBOE)  approved a request of change order proposal for phase II of the Holly Pond High School cafeteria renovation in the amount of $46,041.53. The change is for new ceiling/tile grid and LED lighting, along with the use of Hardie board instead of vinyl and architectural fees.

It also approved a bid of $95,000 by S&G Waldrop Electric for maintenance on Vinemont High School’s football lighting systems.

Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette shared, “I’d like to publicly recognize again our Cullman County Commissioners, Gary Marchman, Kenneth Walker and Kerry Watson for levying the sales tax for our school system, and I’m really excited about the opportunities that we’re going to be able to do these school improvements on our local campuses and improve the safety with this sales tax.”

Barnette also recognized the Vinemont Elementary and Middle School archery teams and the Good Hope High School Comprehensive Math Team for winning state championships. He congratulated the West Point High School softball team for winning the Cullman County Softball Tournament and said he would try to get the  Cold Springs Lady Eagles basketball team to attend next month’s meeting. the Lady Eagles won the 2A AHSAA Championship in Barnette in March.

Barnette also recognized the Tony Serra Nissan-Cullman Tribune Teacher and Principal of the Month, Michelle Pender of Hanceville Elementary School and Chris Chambers from the Cullman County Child Development Center and March’s CCBOE e5 Exceptional Service Award, which Thursday evening featured the first student to be recognized with this award in April. Aistin Jeffrey (AJ) Gable, a second grader at Hanceville Elementary, originally raised $200 to pay lunch fees for his classmates; he has now had “two more donations to present to the school for a grand total of $650.”

Barnette told Gable, “You serve as an example for all of us, okay?”

Others recognized for the e5 Exceptional Service Award were Kerrie McCluskey of the Child Development Center, Chelsie Alldredge of Holly Pond High School, Sara Kirkpatrick of Good Hope Elementary, Ted Nesmith of Vinemont High School, Freda Coleman of West Point Elementary, Crystal McGraw of Vinemont Elementary and Deputy Jeff Lawson of Fairview Schools.

The next regular CCBOE meeting will be May 20 with a work session at 5:30 p.m., with the meeting falling immediately after. View Thursday night’s meeting at

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