Barnett, Abner sign principal contracts
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA — The Board of Education unanimously approved two new school principals during a called meeting Thursday.

Debbie Barnett was approved as principal at Nichols-Lawson Middle School, and Monte Abner was selected principal at Indian Valley Elementary School. Barnett and Abner each signed a one-year probationary contract with salaries of $90,000 and $86,000, respectively.

Barnett, who replaces outgoing principal Gerald Douglass, has been assistant principal at Nichols-Lawson since 2010. She previously worked at the State Department of Education for two years and was a teacher for 15 years in Clay County, Talladega County and Sylacauga city schools.

“I am very excited,” Barnett said of her new position. “There are so many things that I’m looking forward to, but the biggest aspect is being able to impact the school and become an instructional leader.”

Barnett’s education includes an educational specialist degree from the University of Alabama, a master’s degree in educational administration from Jacksonville State University and a bachelor’s degree in secondary mathematics education from Auburn University at Montgomery. She is National Board Certified in early adolescent mathematics.

Abner fills the position of outgoing Indian Valley principal Maxine Crawford. He was most recently assistant principal at Weaver High School for one year and assistant principal at Saks High School for three years. Abner, a member of Christ Deliverance Christian Center in Talladega, taught English and was academic athletics coach at Talladega High School from 2002 to 2009. He was also English teacher and girl’s basketball coach at Fayetteville High School for one year.

He is working on his dissertation in educational administration from the University of Alabama, from where he previously earned educational specialist and master’s degrees in educational leadership. He also has a bachelor’s degree in English education from Talladega College.

Abner said he was attracted to Sylacauga because it is a good school system close to home. He said he anticipates “growing, getting involved with curriculum and fostering a culture that seeks to improve student achievement and academic performance” during his time at Indian Valley.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the BOE:

• Approved a budget amendment to reflect increases in the 2013 fiscal year budget for substitute pay, utilities and other expenses. Substitute pay was increased by $19,300 due to an unusual number of teacher leaves of absence during the school year, and utilities were increased by $70,000. Other expenses, such as mid-year personnel additions, safety supplies, AdvancED accreditation, Saturday schools, homebound tutoring and technology, contribute to total projected expenditures of about $16,683,400 for the year ending in September, with projected revenue of $16,649,000.

• Approved non-renewal of an employee. The employee’s name is not public until they are notified of their status.

The next regular board meeting is June 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the central office.

© 2013