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.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been edited to reflect that the board honored Kim Mitchell for being a finalist for state Teacher of the Year. A previous version identified her by the wrong last name.

 TALLADEGA -- The Talladega City Board of Education voted 4-0 Tuesday night to approve a joint purchasing agreement with the Talladega County school system to purchase buses.

The county system approved its end of the bargain Monday.

City board member Shirley Simmons-Sims was absent.

According to City Superintendent Tony Ball, the county is planning to bid on a large number of new buses this year, meaning the unit price will likely be discounted due to the size of the order.

“The city will be able to piggyback on that order for up to the next five years,” Ball explained.

The city does not have any money budgeted for new buses this year and would not be obligated to take advantage of the agreement at all should the county and city systems determine they have different needs.

Board member Mary McGhee asked if the city system’s transportation supervisors would have any input into the final decision, and Ball reassured her that they would.

“We have to look at the all the mechanics and service equipment that we’ve already got,” McGhee said.

Ball agreed that while it was always best to stick with the brand the staff is already familiar with, the board is still legally obligated to accept the low bid, regardless of the agreement with the county.

Also Tuesday, the city board:

  • Recognized Kayla Adams’ gym class for raising more than $1,000 for the American Heart Association;

  • Heard board member Jake Montgomery thank Talladega City Councilmen Ricky Simpson and David Street for the council’s recent financial donation;

  • Recognized Kim Mitchell, who was recently named a finalist for state Teacher of the Year;

  • Approved an out-of-state field trip request;

  • Approved an across-the-board increase of 10 cents for school breakfasts and lunches, effective with the 2109-20 academic year;

  • Adopted a state-approved school book listing for computer science;

  • Approved the application to the state board for summer school;

  • Approved signing bonuses for certain difficult-to-fill teaching positions;

  • Approved a list of teachers for the summer bridge program;

  • Approved a resolution honoring Executive Director George Culver and The Ritz Theatre for free art and educational programs that have served more than 100,000 children;

  • Authorized Ball to enter into an agreement to redesign the softball complex. The contract will be for design only and not include construction costs;

  • Approved contracts for three teachers for the summer bridge program by a vote of 3-1, with McGhee casting the dissenting vote. McGhee declined to explain her vote;

  • Approved a clinical agreement with Jacksonville State University;

  • Deleted several obsolete Promethean Boards from the fixed asset list;

  • Approved a job description for a new Central Office secretary;

  • Approved the personnel actions 3-1, with McGhee dissenting because she was not given the complete applications for new personnel hired. Board Chairman Chuck Roberts said going through the applications was the superintendent’s job, and the superintendent then presented the board with the recommendation for them to vote;

  • Non-renewed Rodrekus Wright, Shereeca Peterson, Edward Soldesi and Terrance Reynolds, math teachers at Talladega High School; Martee Pope, science teacher at THS; Bennett Webb, special education teacher at THS; Paige Meads, second-grade teacher at C.L. Salter Elementary School; Angela Sanders, second-grade teacher at R.L. Young; Steven Smith, JROTC Senior Army Instructor at Career Tech, and Kameria Turner, fourth- through sixth-grade teacher at C.L. Salter;

  • Accepted the retirements of David Lipscomb, career tech; Susan Gaskin, kindergarten teacher at Salter; Angela Estelle, teacher, Graham Elementary; Karen Mann, sixth-grade teacher at Houston; and Patricia Harris, second grade teacher at Houston;

  • Accepted the resignations of Jennifer Gunn, ninth-grade English teacher and cheerleader sponsor at THS; Jonathan Harper, PE teacher at Houston; Peter Bowen, history teacher at THS; Katherine Mullinax, seventh-grade science at Zora Ellis; Melanie Fleming, third-grade teacher at Graham; and Lisa Richie, first-grade at Graham;

  • Transferred Hollie Clark from gifted teacher at Graham to teacher at Salter and April Noel from second-grade teacher at Salter to first-grade teacher at Houston;

  • Approved the financial report 3-1, with McGhee dissenting because “we’re still paying money where we shouldn’t be;

  • Announced there would be called meetings throughout the summer, including May 24 at 8:30 a.m. and June 25, July 23 and July 30 at 5 p.m.; and

  • Announced that Talladega High School graduation would be Thursday.