Cold Springs High named top school in county system

Cold Springs High School Principal Eric Dickerson (right) receives the CCBOE School of Excellence trophy from Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, accompanied by Cold Springs District School Board Representative Wayne Myrex. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune

System-wide achievements, improvements on display at board meeting 


CULLMAN, Ala. – School achievements and facility improvements were on full display as the Cullman County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting Thursday afternoon. Cold Springs High School was named the county system’s School of Excellence based on a list of achievements during the challenging 2019/2020 academic year, shared by Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette: 

  • Highest average senior ACT composite score 
  • Highest attendance rate 
  • Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School  
  • Tied for the highest graduation rate at a full 100% 
  • One of two high schools with an “A” on the last state report card 
  • Second highest percentage of students passing the ACT WorkKeys test  
  • County champion in boys and girls cross country 
  • State champions in cross country 
  • Girls basketball area & regional champions 
  • Sportsmanship Award winner 
  • Second highest overall faculty and staff attendance rate 


After receiving the giant School of Excellence trophy on behalf of his school, Cold Springs Principal Eric Dickerson told The Tribune, “Obviously, we’re really proud . . . We knew that we had a great year. We have great kids, great staff and, as (Dr. Barnette) said, our standardized test scores were great, attendance was great. It was really just a perfect storm. Athletics- we won a state title and state runners- up. Just a year that everything kind of went right.” 

Dickerson particularly commended the senior class that graduated in the midst of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed sorrow that their senior year experiences were cut short. 

The principal spoke well of all his students and their response to the challenges of the pandemic, saying, “Every time we challenged them, they exceeded whatever mark we put in front of them. It was just an unbelievable year, and it was a collective effort by a lot of people.” 

System achievements 

Barnette invited all principals in attendance to the front of the room, and took a few moments to tout the achievements of schools across the system: 

  • 94.58% graduation rate, the highest in the history of the county system 
  • Cold Springs and Vinemont graduation rates of 100% 
  • 99.04% college and career readiness rate, also the highest in system history 
  • Good Hope, Holly Pond, Vinemont and West Point college and career readiness rates of 100% 


Facility improvements  

CCBOE Maintenance Director John McKinney presented a list of facility improvements recently completed or currently underway at schools across the system: 

  • Secondary entryways (an entrance security feature) are being installed at Parkside, all Hanceville schools, Holly Pond High School, Fairview Elementary and High Schools, Vinemont Elementary School and Good Hope High School. 
  • At Harmony School, a fence is being installed to help secure the campus. 
  • Painting of the ceiling and replacement of lower hall flooring is underway at West Point High School. 
  • Outdoor classrooms are being built at Hanceville Elementary and Vinemont High School. 
  • A fenced parking lot has been built at West Point High School where bus drivers can park. 
  • Certain bathrooms at Good Hope High School are being remodeled. 
  • A new storefront has been installed at CATA Culinary Arts. 
  • New canopies have been installed at West Point Intermediate, Hanceville Middle and Vinemont Elementary School. 
  • Front entrance doors are being replaced at Holly Pond High and Good Hope High, along with one of the doors on the Hanceville Middle School gym. 
  • Cabinets are being built for the new Home Economics building at Holly Pond High School. 
  • New electrical plugs have been installed at West Point Elementary and Good Hope High School. 
  • All rollup doors are being replaced. 
  • Bids are being accepted for new flooring at Vinemont High, Holly Pond Elementary Library, Vinemont Elementary Library and West Point Middle Library 
  • McKinney said he was seeking quotes for a set of bathrooms at Holly Pond High football stadium. 

Upcoming plans include: 

  • Remodeling the nurse’s office at Holly Pond Elementary School 
  • Addressing draining issues around the K-1 building at Fairview Elementary School 
  • Painting all the outside cornice at Cold Springs Elementary School 
  • Painting the canopy in front of Holly Pond Middle School gym and the canopy in front of Hanceville Middle gym 
  • Replacing the bathroom stalls at the Hanceville Elementary gym 
  • Replacing front entrance doors and a portion of siding on Edmondson Hall at Hanceville Middle School 
  • Pouring a sidewalk at Vinemont Middle School that will connect the east exit doors to the faculty gym parking lot 

The Cullman County Board of Education meets on the second Thursday of each month in the central office board room, with work sessions at 3:30 p.m. and regular meetings immediately following. The public is invited to attend. 

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W.C. Mann