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Board of Education honors retirees

On Thursday night, the Butler County Board of Education held a reception in honor of retiring employees of county schools and also honoring residents of the county who helped pass the ad valorem tax.

Among the teachers honored for their years of service were: Gloria Watson, science teacher, Greenville Middle School, 24 years; Jan Black, math teacher, Greenville Middle School, 29 years; Danny Foster, business teacher, Greenville High School, 25 years; Jerry Peak, history and physical education teacher, Georgiana High School, 27 years; Priscilla Davis, art teacher, Greenville High School, 27 years; and Wes Marcus, kindergarten teacher, W.O. Parmer Elementary School, 25 years.

Other retiring personnel thatwere honored included: Jeanette Davis, manager of child nutrition at McKenzie High School, who served 32 years; Rosa Boyd, child nutrition, R. L. Austin Middle School, 16 years; Bonnie Pettie, bus driver for McKenzie School, 29 years; ; Lewis Stalling, bus driver, 14 years; and Frances Miller, ISSP Aide, Greenville High School, 31 years.

"I would just like to thank you all for what you have done for our children," said Dr. Mike Reed, superintendent of the Butler County School System. "These men and women represent a combined total of 270 years of service."

Also honored at the reception were several individuals for their service in helping to pass the ad valorem tax in Butler County.

Commissioners Daniel Robinson and Jesse McWilliams were the first to be recognized by the board. "I would like to recognize the county commission for their help in getting this tax passed in an effort to help the children of Butler County," said Reed.

"I would also like to recognize James Reeves, without whose efforts we would not have had the campaign that we had. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes and helped to raise over $20,000," said Reed.

" I would also like to recognize Allen Stephenson. Allen really stepped forward for this campaign. He traveled all over the county, to Montgomery and knocked on so many doors. He was the chairman of the Friends of Butler County Schools and without Allen and his efforts, we could not have succeeded," said Reed.

Also recognized at the meeting was Jerry Adair for securing The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy 2001 grant. The purpose of the grant is to expand the Butler County Even Start Program by providing a library, evening and summer family literacy programs and basic education classes for parents, and provide take-home books at the Butler County Education and Community Center.

Adair's grant was only one of 11 proposals that were chosen from a total of 484 proposals that were submitted.

The board announced that at the next meeting, which has been rescheduled to July 26, a public hearing will be held to give residents a chance to voice their opinions and concerns regarding the Childrens' Internet Protection Act. This federal act, an amendment to the Federal Communications Act of 1934, requires schools and libraries to install filtering or blocking material on computers with Internet access to be eligible to receive or retain universal service assistance.

The act states, "the determination of what material is to be deemed harmful to minors shall be made by the school, school board, library or other authority responsible for making the required certification. No agency or instrumentality of the United States Government may establish criteria for making that determination, review the determination made by the school, school board, library or other authority, or consider the criteria employed by the certifying school, school board, library or other authority in the administration."

In the legal update, Butler County School Board Attorney Lewis H. (Pete) Hamilton said that the board is due to file the final annual report regarding desegregation in schools. This report would state that the Butler County School System has followed standards as ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama in June 1970 to desegregate schools and as a result is now considered unitary. This report would also state that the board of education is committed to maintaining these standards in the future.

Although Board Member John Peagler inquired as to the number of minority teachers in the Butler County School System, Hamilton stated that progress has been made and that 36 percent of last year's hires were minorities. The board then approved the resolution.

Approval was granted by the board to use federal funds to purchase Compass Learning Curriculum software which will prepare students for the SAT-9 test.

The board also announced that a special meeting will be held on July 5 for the annual review of the code of conduct.

In other news, the board:

accepted the resignations of Joanne Schrantz, counselor, Greenville High School; Rose Stansberry, parent involvement aide, W.O. Parmer Elementary School; Vanessa Womack, language arts teacher, Georgiana High School and Jacqueline Abrams, counselor, Greenville Middle School;

accepted the employment contract of Greenville High School Principal John Black;

accepted the renewal of membership to the Alabama Association of School Board and the participation in the legal assistance fund;

granted permission to advertise bids for school buses and fuel for school buses;

granted permission to purchase textbooks;

approved maternity leave requests.