Superintendent approved to sign contracts for emergency hires

Published 1:52 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Board of Education focused on personnel during its meeting on Sept. 19.

All of the personnel changes were approved by a five to one vote with one abstention. Board president Lori Patterson and members Joe Mims, Linda Hand, Jim Shannon and Curtis Smith voted in favor of the changes. Board member Pam Price voted against and Keith Moore abstained.

This vote included resignations, new hires, substitutes, leave requests, reassignments, additional assignments and permission to hire contract employees in emergency situations without approval from the school board.

Price objected to granting the permission to hire without board approval.

“Why can’t we just call an emergency board meeting like we have been doing?” Price asked.

Assistant Superintendent Adriane Dennis said this was an option, but she had contacted the State Department of Education for other options.

“We have had several teachers since the beginning of the school year to resign,” Dennis said. “So, that leaves us with the situation of calling a special board meeting or having an uncertified teacher in there for as much as a month.”

Dennis said the state department stated the school superintendent “can sign any contract without the board’s approval.” However, the school system has always asked for board approval.

Moving forward in emergency situations, the superintendent will sign a contract with someone to fill the needed teaching position. The contract will include the person’s beginning and ending dates. Dennis said this will ensure students are being taught by a certified teacher, rather than an uncertified substitute teacher when a teacher resigns mid-year. The position would come before the board at the next meeting.

There were two resignations accepted during the board meeting, an elementary teacher at Clanton Intermediate and an Alabama Reading Initative reading specialist.

Two teachers were hired during the meeting. Savanna Griffith was hired as an elementary teacher at Thorsby High School, and Alex Lesueur was hired as an intervention/ music teacher for Clanton Elementary School.

More than 30 people were approved to serve as substitutes. The majority of these were substitute teachers, while others were for support, clerical, transportation, custodian, child nutrition or nurse.

There were four maternity leaves and one leave without pay approved during the meeting.

An update was also given on the possibility of school resource officers. Superintendent Tommy Glasscock said one SRO including insurance benefits would cost at least $44,000. Clanton schools are the only schools that have an SRO. This position is funded by the city of Clanton. Glasscock said he asked principals of the other schools “if they are willing to give up a teaching unit to put an SRO in their schools, not a one of them was interested in that.”

Teacher units are how state funding is given to the school system, giving up a unit would likely mean having one less teacher.

At a previous board meeting, Price asked if SROs could be included in the budget and paid with local funding. Glasscock said in the Sept. 19 meeting that he would not recommend using money in reserve to pay for this because of what might happen to education funding at the state level.