School board plays catch-up on hiring

Published 2:38 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

A new school year has started, and the Chilton County Board of Education is finalizing filling teacher positions.

Several Chilton County elementary teachers were approved for hire during the Aug. 15 meeting. These included Sonya McNair and Eric Rickles for Clanton Intermediate, Sonya Robinson for Isabella as well as Nicole Bolton and Kateland Lowery for Thorsby.

Rachel Lawley for Jemison Intermediate was approved pending verification of her teaching certification.

“She is certified. I have not gotten the certification, yet. So, she is being approved as a substitute,” Assistant Superintendent Adrianne Dennis said. “Her actual hire date will be Sept. 1, pending certification.”

Dennis said Lawley had agreed to do this.

Board member Jim Shannon asked if there was a way to make the pay retroactive for the teacher position once the she is certified. Dennis and School Superintendent Tommy Glasscock said they could look into this possibility.

Thomas McCall was approved as a social science teacher for Verbena High School.

Board member Pam Price abstained on the vote.

Conversation turned to textbooks as the board unanimously approved Algebraic Connections books being purchased as needed. Ashlie Harrison, director for teaching and learning, said this is a class seniors and has not been offered for the past few years.

“We are just now getting to it in sequence. They haven’t needed it,” Harrison said.

Later in the meeting, Price expressed concerns that Jemison High School and Isabella High School had a shortage of textbooks, based on a call she received.

“At Jemison Middle School … they were being told they were buying workbooks because they did not have textbooks,” Price said.

She said her student at Thorsby is not allowed to take her textbook home.

“I haven’t gotten a single request from a principal [for more textbooks],” Glasscock said.

LaVerne Williams, chief school finance officer, gave a financial update. She said in July revenue was at 86 percent and expenditures were at 83 percent, which is exactly where they should be at this point in the fiscal year. The current fiscal year ends in September.

Also during the meeting, the board approved:

— Technology contracts.

— A contract with the YMCA for the Chilton County Children’s Club after-school program. Board president Lori Patterson, who is also director for the Chilton County YMCA, abstained from voting.

— Updating the names of coaches on supplement lists.

—Updated the list of honors courses for the school system.

— Hiring contracted English Language Learner teachers, if enough federal funding for the part-time positions are given to the school system.

— Clanton Middle School mentoring program.

— The Helping Families Initiative with a caseworker for Pass Academy.