With January serving as Board Appreciation Month, Superintendent of the St. Clair Board of Education Dr. Mike Howard shared his thoughts about what makes each board member special.
“Each one of them does it out of the kindness of their hearts,” Howard said. “They have been very supportive of me in my second year and embraced me and my decisions. Our academics are improving, athletics are more competitive and we have more extracurricular activities.”
Scott Suttle – Board President
Suttle serves as board president for the St. Clair Board of Education. He has been involved with the board since 2001. He has since been reelected and will serve 6 more years.
“He is always very professional. He takes the whole county seriously,” Howard said.
Marie Manning – Vice President
Manning serves as vice president of the St. Clair Board of Education. Serving the Ragland community, Manning also brings what Howard calls a “unique perspective” thanks to her time as superintendent.
“She is a wealth of knowledge available for the board,” Howard said. “She understands the job. She wears many hats.”
Thompson has served on the board since 2002, making him one of the longest-tenured members. Thompson represents the Ashville community.
“Randy is a great man who is a very good thinker. He looks at all the angles. He truly benefits Ashville.”
Of Odenville, Gray has a reputation for being reliable during her time on the board, which began back in 2008.
“She is a very passionate and understanding board member,” Howard said. “She is very caring about wanting all students to succeed.”
What makes Morris unique is he is a member at large, meaning he does not have one specific designated area of the county. He has been a member since 2016, making him one of the newer members to the team. His son serves as a teacher and a coach in the community. He has also served as the mayor of Moody.
“He understands the politics and knowledge of citizens of the county,” Howard said. “That is very valuable to me. He thinks about the needs of everyone.”
Of Springville, Hobbs is one of the newest members of the board, serving since 2018. Hobbs also works for Jefferson State Community College and has a knack for athletics.
“His experience with education at the next level is very important because he thinks about the next steps for students,” Howard said.
Another member at large, VanPelt has served the St. Clair community since 2018. Her daughter serves as a teacher and coach in the county. She has a reputation for aiding students all throughout the county by putting them in touch with the right resources.
“She truly represents all students and families. She is very in-tune with the needs of families,” Howard said.
The board accomplished a great deal in 2020. Below are a list of some, but not all, of their accomplishments they listed at their last meeting:
- Overall increase in report card scores
- Navigated a pandemic (ongoing)
- Successful in the district option tax mechanism campaign
- Successful in expanding the VPA
- Began the STEM initiative for their schools
- Successful in increasing the one-month reserve
- Upgraded stadiums throughout St. Clair County
- Scored a 96 percent on Accreditation
- Purchased enough devices to where it is now 1-to-1
- Provided a $300 supplement to employees for extra duties
- All schools had a graduation rate above 90 percent for first time
- The creation of a Pre-K administrator to oversee the grade
- The creation of a uniform grading policy for all schools
For more information about the St. Clair County Board of Education, visit their website at www.sccboe.org.