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Lawley to work with Alabama Reading Initiative

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Jodie Lawley, Verbena High School Annex assistant principal, has taken a position with the Alabama Reading Initiative.

Lawley will be “on loan from Chilton County” to the Alabama State Department of Education for the next few years. If the Reading Initiative position is ever ended, Lawley would come back to working with CCS.

“I will be a regional literacy leadership specialist,” Lawley said. “I will be working with the principals in my region.”

Lawley will work in Region 7, which includes Chilton County and four other counties.

The position is a culmination of her experience as a reading specialist and as an assistant principal.

She has previously served as a reading specialist for Verbena High School and Clanton Elementary.

“I grew to love the science of reading, and I grew so much as a specialist,” Lawley said. “Then the assistant principal position came open at the annex, so I took that … and I was still very active with the reading specialists … I just grew to love combining that (reading specialist) with the administrative aspect of it.”

As a regional literacy leadership specialist, Lawley will work with the regional reading specialists that will work with the staff at each school.

“I will work with the leadership side, they will work with the coaching side, working with the teachers and the reading specialists at that school,” Lawley said.

She will also be looking at reading data to “hopefully come up with a plan for virtual (and) for in-house students tohelp them get that reading in,” Lawley said.

With the passage of the Literacy Act, schools have new requirements when it comes to reading and the resources provided. The main focus of the law is that students be reading at grade level proficiency by third grade.

Lawley and the Reading Initiative team will also be available to school systems to provide resources for implementation and meeting all of the requirements.

She said she is looking forward to helping administrators plan the summer reading camps that are required as a part of the law.

The Chilton County Board of Education has chosen Jake Garnett for the Verbena Annex assistant principal position.