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BOE adds additional pre-k teachers

The Butler County Board of Education approved on Thursday the hire of three new Bright Beginnings teachers. Pictured are, from left to right, Amanda Coghlan, McKenzie; Jean Hardin, Greenville; and Tonya Till, Georgiana. (Advocate Staff/Beth Hyatt)

The Butler County Board of Education approved on Thursday the hire of three new Bright Beginnings teachers. Pictured are, from left to right, Amanda Coghlan, McKenzie; Jean Hardin, Greenville; and Tonya Till, Georgiana. (Advocate Staff/Beth Hyatt)

By Beth Hyatt
The Greenville Advocate

The Butler County Board of Education met on Thursday to discuss matters concerning the new addition to the Bright Beginnings program, new band uniforms for Greenville High School and to honor the recent achievements of faculty members.

Rheta McClain, Director of Learning Supports, earned a $10,000 Dependent Care grant, which will support after school and summer activities at W.O. Parmer Elementary School.

“(Rheta) also received $100,000 from ADECA’s Workforce Investment department to continue our Second Chance Dropout Recovery program,” said Amy Bryan, superintendent of Butler County schools.

Dr. Tera Simmons, director of student learning, acquired $ $293,700 in three pre-k grants for Butler County Schools in Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie. Another $85,500 was awarded to Healthy Kids. Because of these grants, Bright Beginnings is able to serve 54 more students each year. This brings the countywide total from 90 to 144 students per year. There will be four classes in Greenville, two in Georgiana and two in McKenzie. While the Georgiana and McKenzie classes are located on the K-12 campuses, the Greenville classes are located on the campus of the Board of Education Central office. In addition to acquiring this grant, Simmons also completed a credential from the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) called Certified Instructional Leader. Simmons participated in a yearlong program that provided information on various aspects of administration from managerial to curriculum.

Simmons enjoys working with Bright Beginnings because she sees the importance of educating and socializing children.

“I believe children need a strong foundation to be successful in school. The academic, social and emotional aspects of a child should be nurtured,” Simmons said.

According to Simmons, research has proved that children who complete a strong pre-k program are more likely to excel in high school, therefore securing a brighter future.

Three new teachers for Bright Beginnings were recommended and approved for hire by the board: Jean Hardin (Greenville), Amanda Coghlan (McKenzie) and Tonya Till (Georgiana).

The Bright Beginnings program is free and also provides breakfast and lunch. Transportation will be arranged for students in Georgiana and McKenzie.

“Students who attend Bright Beginnings outperform the other students in kindergarten. The program is an excellent way to ensure that your child is academically, emotionally and physically prepared for kindergarten,” Simmons said.

Fifteen retirees were honored at a reception prior to the board meeting and 17 new hires were made during the meeting.

The first day of school will be Thursday, August 13.