Talladega BOE accepts principal's retirement; approves contracts for 2
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — The City Board of Education accepted the retirement of Zora Ellis Junior High School Principal Scott Bailey effective July 31 Monday night at a meeting held at Ellis. Bailey is retiring with a total of eight years of service as a principal.

During the same meeting, the board also voted to renew the contracts for principals Pattie Thomas at R.L. Young Elementary School and Alicia Laros at Houston Elementary School.

Bailey was one of 15 teachers retiring this year honored by the board. According to Superintendent Doug Campbell, these 15 teachers have a total of 382 years service between them. Talladega High School teacher Katie Reynolds had the longest years of service at 39, followed by Sheryl Fuller with 37 and Eileen Joiner with 35. Gail Thrasher and Bonnie Smith had 32 years each.

During a work session preceding Monday’s meeting, the board also heard member James Braswell discuss closing Houston Elementary School and distributing the students currently enrolled there among the three remaining elementary schools. If there was not sufficient room at the three other schools, Braswell suggested adding sixth grade classes to Zora Ellis Junior High School, the way the Sylacauga City Schools do. In the meantime, work on a new gym and band room added on to Houston could get under way, in preparation for making it a junior high school. Braswell said most students transfer out of the city at the junior high school level. “This would at least give the parents a reason to stick around for a little longer, to see the new gym and band room,” he explained.

Braswell referred to a plan the board had previously signed off on that involved building one large, consolidated elementary school. “We can’t afford that now,” he said. “This board is based on five districts, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look at a three zone system. We would probably have to float a bond issue, but it’s doable.”

Campbell said he had done some preliminary work on such a project, but would have to further “crunch the numbers” before bringing a definitive report to the board. Maintaining the recommended student to teacher ratio would be a crucial factor in making the plan work.

Also Monday, the board:

• Discussed several training programs available through the Alabama Association of School Boards, with the consensus eventually forming around facilitated goal setting as top priority. The class would be available locally for a fee.

• Elected Shirley Simmons-Sims board chair for the coming year, with Juanita Curry McClellan as vice chair.

• Approved recommended changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act policy and to the child nutrition program adult meal charges.

• Approved 2 percent pay raises based on contractual starting dates, as approved by the state legislature.

• Voted 4-0 to approve the salary schedule, with board member Bonnie Miller abstaining.

• Voted to transfer Shannon Cochran from sixth grade teacher to fourth grade teacher at C.L. Salter Elementary School; Jennifer Daugherty from sixth grade teacher to fifth grade teacher at Salter; Tanesha Whitson from Kindergarten to second grade teacher at Salter; Natasha Garrett from fifth grade teacher to sixth grade teacher at Salter; Becky Armstrong, second grade teacher at R.L. Young to reading coach at Salter and Roxanne Lamberth from fourth grade teacher to sixth grade teacher at R.L. Young.

• Hired Coreshia Dye, sixth grade teacher at Salter; Stephanie Shield, first grade teacher at Salter; Betsy McDaniel, fifth grade teacher at Salter; Lisa Smith, kindergarten teacher at Salter; Robert Herring and Jason Bates, PE teachers at Talladega High School and Janeka Brown, English teacher at Talladega High School.

• Accepted the retirement of Catherine Thornton, third grade teacher at R.L. YoungElementary School, with 25 years of service.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com

© 2013