On Tuesday, June 11, the Pell City Board of Education held their June meeting to discuss events of the month of May, and Superintendent Dr. Michael Barber announced his resignation effective July 1. They opened the meeting with recognizing the Pell City High School 3D Archery team for winning third place at the 2019 Alabama State Archery Bullseye Championship Tournament, where they qualified to compete in the Nationals held in Kentucky last May. Lukas Dickerson finished first place in the high school boy’s division and will receive a $500 scholarship for his performance.
On May 22 the Pell City School System obtained the Final AdvancED Engagement Review Report. An international organization, AdvancED evaluates education quality based on accredited standards and scoring system. The Pell City School System achieved a score of 325.97, compared to the five-year average which falls between 278.34 and 283.33, and performed at or above expectations in 87% of areas. They listed strengths such as community relationships and partnership, high expectations, and a culture of respect and accountability, and noted opportunities to improve in adjusting lessons to meet individual needs, provide more opportunities for aspiring administrators to learn, and to seek solutions unusual grade configurations. The full report can be read on the Pell City School System website.
The school board passed unanimously the motion for changes to school personnel for the upcoming school year, the Financial Year 2019 Budget Amendment II, and the new Student Rights & Responsibilities/Code of Conduct. They also approved the purchase of a new 2020 78 passenger type C school bus for $84,000 from Southland International Bus Sales and for the upcoming Superintendent Search. The Alabama Association of School Boards Gold Search Package offers this mid-range deal for $9000; mileage and other fees may apply. They approved the Accounts Payable for May for $950,000.
Dr. Barber announced a special class reunion event on the weekend of July 4 at Duran South. It will showcase a talent show and prom for all those who graduated from the school system. According to Vice Chairman Cecil Fomby they will also host a community parade, and any funds generated from this event will be donated to the school system to purchase a new air conditioning system for the Duran South gymnasium.
They also discussed the possibility of additional meetings for more hiring before the month of July and further arrangements for the search for a new superintendent. Fomby thanked Dr. Barber for his dedication to their school system, to which Dr. Barber replied, “It’s mine as well.” The board members discussed their appreciation for Dr. Barber’s six years of service, with Chairman Tammie Williams commenting on the good measure of anyone who can spend over 30 years in education saying, “In my opinion anyone who can stay in education for that long deserves a medal because the challenges are different from when you first became an educator, and it shows me they are in it for the right reasons.”
Dr. Barber plans to continue to contribute to the Pell City community and wishes good luck to the school board and system going forward. The next regular board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16.