Talladega City Board of Education

The Talladega City Board of Education includes (from left) Mary McGhee, Jake Montgomery, Shirley Simmons-Sims, Chuck Roberts and James Braswell.

TALLADEGA -- The Talladega City Board of Education was finally able to establish a quorum Wednesday when board member James Braswell, who underwent heart surgery last week, came in to vote in favor of the personnel actions.

Board members Shirley Simmons-Sims and Mary McGhee were absent.

Board Chairman Jake Montgomery initially called a meeting for last week, but only he and board member Chuck Roberts attended. A second called meeting was set for Tuesday afternoon, with similar result.

Montgomery said he had spoken with Simmons-Sims, who had been sick and was also hospitalized briefly, but he had not been able to reach McGhee.

Braswell was helped to and from the meeting Wednesday by his wife.

Montgomery had said the main reason for the called meeting was to handle personnel actions, which were time sensitive, including the hiring of teachers who might seek employment elsewhere if they were not officially hired in Talladega.

Toni Barker was the only new hire on the list, to teach pre-kindergarten at R.L. Young Elementary School.

Under conditional employment, the only other listing was to hire Chucky Miller as interim athletic director, replacing former Superintendent Terry Roller. Miller is assistant principal and the boys head basketball coach at Talladega High. He had previously served as athletic director before being appointed assistant principal in 2012.

Miller will be paid a $600 per month supplement.

Statements made by McGhee regarding Miller’s pay as athletic director led her to being censured by the board in early 2017. In short, McGhee alleged Miller was still being paid an athletic director’s supplement even after he resigned, and that he was being paid more than he was entitled to. She did not produce any proof of these allegations, however.

The resolution of censure approved by the board outlined seven immediate consequences. These include McGhee’s being removed from all board committees and not being appointed to any additional committees in the future; being ineligible to serve as an officer, be appointed as a delegate or representative of the board or to receive any complimentary admissions or tickets to the district’s athletic events; and she was encouraged to participate in additional boardsmanship training.

Lastly, the resolution states that all relevant documents and information be forwarded to the state superintendent of education for his consideration and recommendations to the state Board of Education, and that Montgomery be authorized to write a letter of apology to Miller on behalf of the board.

McGhee insists that her reprimand is still under appeal and thus not final.

Also Wednesday, the board:

  • Appointed Student Services Director Pattie Thomas acting superintendent for one meeting only;

  • Approved the voluntary transfers of Cheryl Ford (alternative school to first grade at R.L. Young), Jessica Butterworth (physical education at Zora Ellis Junior High to Salter Elementary) and Erin Thielker (English language learning from Salter to Zora Ellis).

  • Canceled all coaching supplements for the remainder of the school year. This is a routine practice;

  • Accepted the retirement of Regina Watts as teacher at Graham Elementary;

  • Approved family and medical leave act time for teacher Hannah Norton;

  • Hired Greg McKinney and Darrell Tuck as 12-month custodians at Talladega High; and

  • Approved two supplements for Tanesa Parker, $500 per month as superintendent’s secretary and $12,000 per year as receptionist with federal program duties.