Cullman City Board of Education recognizes Cullman City School’s America’s First Teacher of the Month Christopher Smith at Tuesday meeting

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(Ashlyn Grey for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman City Schools held their regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday evening at 5:00 p.m. Items reviewed in this meeting were several recognitions of students and employees. Beverly Cochran with America’s First was there as a representative of the new awards.

Cullman High School’s Christopher Smith won Cullman City Schools America’s First Teacher of the Month. Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff shared Mr. Smith’s accomplishments by reading an email from a parent to Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall, stating, “I have had so many people approach me about the way the band kids have handled the loss of Will Fowler. —I feel so much of this comes from the teaching and leadership of Mr. Smith and Mr. Teuscher. Mr. Smith would spend countless time talking to Will about Star Wars and Star Trek. So many times, Mr. Fowler told me that those conversations meant so much to Will. I do not think people realize what an amazing person Mr. Smith is. He cares about these kids like they are his own. He loved Will like he was his own child. – He makes a difference in their lives no matter what is happening.”

Mrs. Hall was also quoted in an email by Superintendent Kallhoff, saying, “Mr. Smith has very high expectations of his students. He teaches with a level of intensity that is second to none. To watch him teach is to see preparation, formative assessment, continuous feedback and high expectations all while he builds positive relationships with every student he teaches.”

Superintendent Kallhoff agreed, saying, “Our kids are lucky to have such wonderful people in their lives. Thank you so much for all that you do.”

Cullman City Schools America’s First Support Employee of the Month went to Coach David Hannah, and was presented by Superintendent Kallhoff, who shared, “This is our Support Employee of the Month and I agree. Coach Hannah is an essential part of our classroom. He has a genuine connection with the students that makes them feel confident and cared for. He shows respect to everyone he meets.”

The Mossy Oak Bassmaster High School Classic National Champions Brody Hopper and Landon Franks were joined by Coach Kyle Morris. Superintendent Kallhoff shared, “This summer, these students represented Cullman High School by winning the Bassmaster’s High School Championship at Eagle Mountain Lake in Texas. – It was a five bass limit, and the total was 13 pounds and 1 ounce, am I right? Congratulations. Thank you so much, guys. We have a certificate and a small token of appreciation from us.”

Before business began, the Board was given a public comment by Brian Ogstad, “The judge threw out my motion to have you cease and desist with all over your COVID stuff and I am not going to pursue it any further. I think the lawsuit could still go on, but I will probably take care of that tomorrow and just stop it. Because like I said, I am just tired and the only people I can save are my family. I feel bad for the children and the people who just go along, because they are going to get vaccinated, and it does not look good for them.”

He concluded, “Also on line four here, it says something about fees, there are to pay some sort of fees. I don’t want to. I paid my legal fees; I would appreciate if you would pay your own legal fees.”

The adoption of the agenda was then recommended by Superintendent Kallhoff, and minutes from August 17, 2021, September 9, 2021 and September 12, 2021 were approved.

Action Items 9.1 – 9.43 were then approved by the board.

Consent agenda items were next with an on-track financial report from Chief Financial Advisor James Brumley for August 2021. The health/nutrition/disabilities/enrollment report followed behind for August 2021.

The CHS Dance Team was approved to attend Dance Competitions in Collierville, Tennessee on October 29 – 30, 2021, and in Brandon, Mississippi November 19 – 20, 2021. CHS Business Education classes were also approved for a marketing field trip to Tennessee Titans Learning Labs in Nashville, Tennessee October 26, 2021, with Board Member Joey Orr saying, “I am just excited to see our kids getting to go do stuff this year. Last year they were not getting to go, and this year they are getting to go.”

The personnel report was then approved and followed by Superintendent Kallhoff’s report, sharing, “Our positive COVID-19 cases are at the lowest they have been all school year and we are excited about that. I want to say we appreciate the parents, students and faculty at East and the middle school for adhering to the temporary mask mandate. In a two-week period, the positive cases on those campuses decreased from just over 5% to under 1% and across the system; they are at .5%.”

He continued, “Last week we started an additional after-hours cleaning on all five campuses using a virus killing, although environmentally safe, solution with electromagnetic misters and foggers. And again, we appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep our schools open for in person learning. Our goal is to keep our schools open safely. We have data to show that remote learning and virtual learning is not as effective as face-to-face learning— and not just academically, but socioemotionally as well.”

“Last week we had our final design meeting with the Cullman Middle School architects and those drafts and prints are now being finalized. And tomorrow (September 22) we will meet with the Cullman City Primary architects to complete the same process. We anticipate the bid opening process on both projects to be in January and February of 2022. And later this week, we will open the bids for the CHS softball field turf project and currently, we are still on track to finish that project by the first pitch of the 2022 softball season.”

“Results from Terrell Technology, who performed the air quality test at West Elementary, came back with little or no counts of active mold. In most cases, there were higher counts of mold outside than inside; however, we are still moving forward with the cleaning protocol using ServePro, as well as consulting with the HVAC engineers to implement a permanent solution to the air quality concerns at West.”

Superintendent Kallhoff concluded the meeting by expressing how proud he was of Cullman City students for not participating in the recent ‘devious licks’ Tik Tok challenge. He then thanked Mrs. Hall for all that she does for Cullman High School and the reimplementation of Homecoming Week this school year.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting for Cullman City Schools will be on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room.

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