Talladega City Board of Education 2015-19

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 will hold a called meeting Friday at 7:30 a.m. after failing to approve an interim career tech director during a called meeting Thursday evening.

Only three of the five board members were present: Chairman Chuck Roberts, along with Mary McGhee and Jake Montgomery.

When it came time to vote on Superintendent Tony Ball’s personnel recommendations, McGhee asked that the interim appointment be separated from the rest, which Roberts and Montgomery eventually agreed to.

The vote was 2-1, with McGhee dissenting. Without another board member present, there were not enough yes votes to approve the action, however.

Ball said McGhee’s no vote would leave the system without a career tech director for at least a month, and that a state conference was coming up next week where the system would need a representative to be present.

“We need to send someone to Montgomery or it will severely affect our funding for career tech programs,” Ball said. “It’s going to affect kids.”

Roberts asked McGhee if she would reconsider her vote, and she simply said “no.”

Although McGhee did not offer any explanation for her vote during the course of the meeting, she said afterward the person Ball recommended for the interim position “didn’t have any qualifications. She’s just a counselor. She’s not certified in administration. That’s all.”

Ball said McGhee’s assessment of the situation is incorrect.

While the person he recommended is a counselor, he said she was more than qualified to serve as an interim director, and that state officials in the career tech program had approved of his choice.

He also emphasized the board would need a representative to be present in Montgomery next week to help the system secure funds to buy equipment and school supplies to keep the program up to standards.

“This is a very important piece of our funding,” he said.

During his comments at the end of the meeting, Ball said, “I would like to encourage everyone in the audience and everyone out there to be more positive. There is a lot of negativity out there about our city and our school system, and it affects our enrollment when people talk negatively about the schools.

“Today, I heard someone say that we don’t care about the kids, and I know that’s not true. That hurt me the most because I work with these principals and teachers, and I know they care about the kids.

“But we made a decision here tonight that shows maybe we don’t care about them all the time. We’re leaving money on the table for a lack of someone to send to represent us. I don’t even know the protocol for asking you to reconsider.”

Montgomery then called for the 7:30 a.m. meeting Friday and refused to consider McGhee’s request that the meeting be moved to 8.

Either board member Shirley Simmons-Sims or James Braswell could provide a majority vote to fill the position on an interim basis if they are able to attend the Friday’s meeting.

Ball said he is planning to re-advertise the permanent position for two weeks before bringing a recommendation to the board.

Friday’s meeting will be in the former Northside Hal Henderson Elementary School building.

Also Thursday, the board:

  • Recognized two of the 17 students who recently participated in the Special Olympics;

  • Renewed the interpreter service agreement with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind;

  • Approved a bid from Mullins Building Supplies of Decatur to replace 18 glass doors at Talladega High with metal fire doors;

  • Amended three administrative supplements, two for positions that no longer exist in the system and one for a position that is vacant;

  • Approved Family and Medical Leave Act time for Houston Elementary third-grade teacher Eboni Truss;

  • Approved coaching supplements of $6,400 for Ryan Dawson, head girls basketball coach at Talladega High, and $1,200 for Valencia McIntyre, assistant girls basketball coach at the high school.

  • Accepted Charles Henderson’s resignation as assistant football coach at Zora Ellis Junior High, effective Oct. 1;

  • Accepted the resignation of bus driver LaShawn Stamps, effective Oct. 9;

  • Approved a coaching supplement for Tekila Roberson of $1,200, replacing Dawson as ninth-grade boys basketball coach;

  • Approved continuous improvement plans for each school;

  • Appointed Roberts alternate delegate to the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB); and

  • Congratulated Roberts for earning his level two certificate from AASB and McGhee for earning a seventh-year Master’s date plate.