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Pell City High School and Duran Junior High School debate team members were recognized at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. Also with the debate teams were Superintendent Dr. Michael Barber and team sponsors Rachael Tawbush and Schorette Emerich.


David Atchison/The Daily Home

PELL CITY -- The Pell City High School and Duran Junior High School debate teams were recognized at the Pell City Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

Under the supervision of Pell City High teacher Rachael Tawbush, the high school debate team took top honors at the Birmingham Area Debate League Tournament, which was at Samford University.

Tawbush said the PCHS debate team is in its 11th year and has 14 members: Malea Benjamin, De’Onta Bush, Laura Beth Dillard, Paige Edwards, Julie Foshee, Jacob Hazelwood, Jonathan Kay, Kylie McMichen, Jasmine Ramsey, Stacy Ross, Chase Spears, Josh Warren, Ben Willingham and Joelle Woggerman.

During the debate season, the high school team defeated opponents from Gardendale, Homewood, Shelby Crossings, Corner, Minor, McAdory, Pleasant Grove and Hewitt-Trussville to take home the No. 1 ranking in the Birmingham Area league for the high school division, Tawbush said.

She said Willingham and Warren both earned Top 10 individual rankings in the Birmingham Area league. Individually, Willingham placed second, and Warren placed sixth.

She said under the direction of Duran Junior High teacher Schorette Emerich, the Duran North and South Junior High debate team finished third overall in the Birmingham Area league, junior high division.

Members of the junior high debate team included Porter Brasher, Malin Cain, Allison Capps, Tripp Carder, Haley Cline, Louise England, Jakob Jackson, Macy Kreitlein, Emily Masters, Taylor Melvin, Jauston Payne, J’Kaylan Swain, Teyah Washington and Brittne Wiley.

Kreitlein finished in the Top 10 individually, claiming an eighth-place league finish.

In other matters Tuesday, the board:

  • Accepted the retirement of Cynthia Williamson, school system testing coordinator, and Sherry Petersen, a Duran North Junior High teacher assistant;

  • Accepted the resignations of Williams Intermediate physical education teacher William Hannah, Williams Intermediate math teacher Allison Etheredge, Pell City High math teacher Trenton South; Pell City High English teacher Jeremy Hicks and Pell City High Assistant Principal Matthew Hodge;

  • Approved hiring Duane Player as Pell City High/Junior High School band director;

  • Approved adding Andrew Moreland to the substitute bus driver/bus aide list;

  • Approved the following reassignments at Walter M. Kennedy Elementary: Leslie Hughes from third-grade to first-grade teacher, Tonya Helms from third-grade to first-grade teacher, Abbye Grimes from kindergarten to first-grade teacher, Aubrey Carter from first-grade to fourth-grade teacher, Rebecca Dix from first-grade to third-grade teacher and Ashley Armstrong from first-grade to kindergarten teacher;

  • Approved the transfers of Walter M. Kennedy Elementary Principal Leah Stover to the executive director of special programs for the school system; and Lisa Rhinehart from a language arts teacher at Williams Intermediate to Duran North Junior High School science teacher;

  • Approved the following contracts: Wendy Latham as a teacher for the Pell City High summer school session, Kellie Miller as a gifted specialist, Connie Thomas as a psychometrist and Douglas Bibb as an adjunct instructor in health science (sports medicine) at Pell City High;

  • Approved the following contracts for the extended school year (during the summer): Courtney McKee and Tammy Tucker as paraprofessionals; Pam Farley as a speech therapist; Kendra Johnson, Brittany Gillison, Cindy Oden and Chasity Boyle as special education teachers; Milestones Behavior Consulting as a board certified behavior analyst; and LEAPS Academy services;

  • Approved the following supplemental positions: Whitney Hollis as a Pell City High band fall auxiliary color guard sponsor, Shelby Franklin as a Pell City High band dance line sponsor and Monica Haynes as a Pell City High band majorette sponsor;

  • Approved the expulsion of a Pell City High student;

  • Accepted the low bid of $44,740 submitted by Big John’s Asphalt to pave the gravel parking lot at Pell City High; and  

  • Announced the high school graduation ceremony is next Thursday night.