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Jaquarious Vinson and Omar Reyes

Superintendent Dr. D. Ray Hall hands certificates to two Anniston High School students who recently completed firefighters and first responders training. Jaquarious Vinson and Omar Reyes were recognized by the Anniston Board of Education at its meeting Thursday afternoon for graduating from the Anniston Regional Training Center.

The Anniston High School track team, recent back-to-back state champions, along with two other students were recognized at the Anniston board of education meeting Thursday night by school Superintendent Dr. D. Ray Hill.

Hill first recognized Jaquarious Vinson and Omar Reyes for graduating from the Anniston Regional Training Center.

The Anniston Regional Training Center teaches students to become first responders and/or firefighters.

“When you start talking about the future of Anniston and what people bring to the table, they are well on their way and I’m very proud to be able to present to them, we’re talking about the future fire chief and deputy chief,” Hill said.

“We just want to say we’re proud of you, we thank you, we know that was a tough road you persevered, you did what you had to do and we know there are bigger and better things to come as you move forward,” Hill said. Both Vinson and Reyes received certificates from Hill and the school board.

Hill then recognized the Anniston High School track team for its accomplishment across two years.

Hill had a plaque for the head coach, Lisa Howard Holland, but she could not be present due to a banquet.

“We still want to make sure we show our appreciation and hopefully we’ll get a chance later on to say something to the young men and women,” Hill said.

“They don’t get anything for the work that they do, hopefully they’ll see the fruits of their labor, the discipline, the background, the knowledge that it takes to strive and persevere to do what’s right,” he said.

The board met in executive session for about 45 minutes to discuss personnel matters and possible legal litigation.

When the board reconvened it voted on personnel recommendations and took another vote on pursuing litigation. The vote on pursuing litigation was not unanimous, with board member Joan Frazier casting the lone “no” vote.

After the meeting Hill declined to disclose the nature of the pending litigation but said he would after following the board’s directions on the matter.

Board member comments

The board’s meeting was the last of the school year, prompting reflections and sentimental remarks during closing comments.

Board member Mary Harrington thanked everyone who made the year a successful one.

“I am looking forward to better days and I just want to give a shout-out to all the principals because they’ve done a lot and I’m waiting for us to see the results of what their hard work has done,” Harrington said.

Harrington went on to thank the Anniston High track team for their back-to-back state championships.

Board member Joan Frazier was appreciative of the updates on the Anniston High’s social media page.

“Already posted on Anniston High’s Facebook page is a football schedule and so four months ahead of time we know when homecoming is, we know when senior night is, we know when the first game is and I’m sure there’s more than one person that made that possible so thank you to whomever that involves,” she said.

“Instead of starting the football season and finding out after it starts, we now know and I have things on my calendar and I appreciate that,” Frazier said.

Board member Becky Brown characterized the year as the best one yet.

“This has been a difficult year for everyone, it’s been hard for the kids, it’s been hard for the teachers and everyone who plays a role, everyone has been so supportive in making good things happen, for the best of the kids than I’ve ever been around,” Brown said.

Board member Trudy Munford thanked administrators, staff and teachers and everyone “who makes the wheels turn here at the Anniston school system.”

“We’ve had some glowing moments this year, I feel so proud to be a part of the Anniston school system, I really do, we have had some wonderful things happen here … success is here at Anniston city schools and we want to keep it going,” Munford said.

School board president Robert Houston said Anniston city schools are becoming a premier education system.

“The situation that happened at the high school, the bomb threat, happened on the same day that we had this great rollout of our CT program (career tech) that Honda did, it’s amazing isn't it,” Houston said.

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.