Cuts and changes for Chilton County School System

Published 9:06 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Numerous cuts and responsibility changes for Chilton County School System employees were made at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board approved a “non-renewal” list of 14 Chilton County School System employees who will not return to work next school year, as well as one employee that was already “let go,” Superintendent Dave Hayden said.

Officials said notification letters would be sent to those on the list as soon as possible.

“I hate taking people’s jobs; it is the most difficult thing I’ve had to do,” said Hayden. “But what people don’t understand is if we didn’t do it, the state would have done it for us.”

It was also decided that Roger Sheffield, assistant principal at Maplesville High School, and Mark Stephenson, assistant principal at Clanton Elementary School, will now transition from full-time to half-time assistant principals and will now spend half their time teaching.

“I knew there was a possibility,” said Sheffield. “The principals didn’t even know about it to warn us.”

The non-renewal list consisted of five janitors, one nurse, three secretary/bookkeepers and five central office and certified employees.

The board also decided that LeCroy Career/Tech supervisor Carol Easterling will transition to the Child Nutrition Program and principal Tommy Glasscock will take on two roles as principal and coordinator.

More discussion of the cuts and changes were brought up at the annual public meeting held after the official board meeting.

Six school system employees addressed the board during the open forum section.

Bridget Smith, a teacher at Jemison Elementary, asked about the cutting of the nurses and how that will put the liability on the teachers.

“Are schools going to have nurses?” asked Smith.

“Outside funding can be cut, which there isn’t much of, or school nurses can be cut. We just don’t know now. The Legislature has not approved the final budget,” said Hayden in response to Smith. “According to Mr. Yeargan’s numbers, we’re expecting a $4.9 million loss this year.”

Sheffield told the board he was unhappy that he had no prior knowledge of his being moved to half-day teacher.

“In the future, [the board] should notify principals to [notify employees] instead of in a meeting,” said Sheffield. “I will do what the board asks and have no problem teaching a half day. I had no knowledge to this prior to this meeting. It was in poor taste to not let principals know about [the status of employees].

The board’s next meeting will be held Tuesday, May 24.
In other business, four LeCroy Career/Tech Center instructors recognized seven students for their awards and achievements during the visitors’ section of the meeting.

Career/Tech supervisor Carol Easterling announced that groups from four different programs would come before the board and be recognized for their top winnings in April at the Alabama Skills USA Competition and National Financial Challenge.

Sponsor Ray Sosa recognized Brittan Scruggs, third place who ranked top 16 in the nation; Colby Jones, first place; and Nick Todd, second place who ranked top 10 in the nation.

Tim Littlefield, collision repair instructor, recognized Patrick Smith, first place and will attend nationals in Kansas City; and Dyllan Smith, third place in collision repair.

Josh Phillips, drafting design instructor, recognized Alex Martin, third place in architectural drafting.

Business education teacher Fran Pinson recognized Samantha DeLauder for ranking in the 20th percentile in the National Financial Challenge. DeLauder also received an offer and a position with Chilton Contractors. She is employed with the company, working through the Cooperative Education Program and after school.

Also during the meeting, the board approved the recommendation for school offices, shops and the central office to be closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day.
The board also approved a resolution on financing the purchase of 18 new school buses.

“The buses are coming from the transportation fund – they are separate,” said Hayden. “School will go on despite the cuts, and that’s just something we do.”