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Pell City school board focuses on student achievements in board meeting

Pell City Board of Education 2020-24 teaser

The Pell City Board of Education for 2020-24 was sworn in Tuesday, Nov. 17. The board includes incumbents Joe Sawyer, Cecil Fomby and Laurie Henderson along with newly elected members Greg Crump and Norman Wilder.

PELL CITY — The Pell City Board of Education spent much of its regular meeting Tuesday looking at student achievements. 

Superintendent Dr. James Martin took time to recognize several groups of students, and two groups that were represented during the meeting were the Pell City High School Band of Gold and the Pell City High School FFA. 

Martin congratulated the band on scoring all 1s, otherside knows as superiors, and the Bob Rush award at the Mid South Marching Festival. He said the majorettes, dance line and drum line also reserved best in class at the competition. Martin said the three groups also received the honor at the Lake Martin Marching Invitational along with the pit percussion receiving the highest score of the day. 

Martin, who is a former band director, took time during the meeting to recognize drum majors and section leaders from the band that attended the meeting along with Band Director Corey Funderburg.

“There has not been a single band, and I know something about bands, that's been better than us on a Friday night all year,” Martin said. “Y’all are running a perfect record right now as far as I’m concerned.”

Funderburg said the band has a great group this year, and has been competing more than usual after not competing last year. 

“It's kind of been a weird adjustment from last year where we didnt do a single competition to this year,” he said. “They were hungry and so I am pretty much over feeding them.”

During the board’s meeting, it approved allowing the band to participate in a third competition in Rome Georgia on Saturday. Funderburg said he plans to show everyone there just how good Alabama Bands are. 

Another group of students present at the meeting were members of the  high school FFA who recently placed in their county contest. FFA sponsor Laycie Bunt said she, much like Funderburg, was simply happy that students got to compete this year. She said the county competition will not be the last one of the year, however.

“So county contests are our qualifications for district, then district pushes us to state and state pushes us to nationals,” Bunt said. “We leave for nationals next week, we have a group of 10 students going with us to nationals based off last year's stuff.” 

He also congratulated the PCHS junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams for their big wins over Westminster School at Oak Mountain. Martin said the varsity team also improved their record this year considerably over last year. He said the team went from 3-22 to 11-15.

Martin also highlighted the cross country team for winning the Gardendale Invitational and Minor Invitational. He also specifically congratulated Jack Lowe, Abby Little and River Richard for giving national elite performances. 

The superintendent also congratulated the PCHS Anglers of the year Colliun Smith and Peyton Smith.

In other matters, the board:

—Approved resignations of Cody Pearson (child nutrition program worker at Iola Roberts Elementary School), Dale Owen (bus driver and trainer) and Rea Pugh (paraprofessional at PCHS);

—Approved hiring Penny Arnold, Dana Bearden, Cassandra Boyle, Katie Denton, Stephanie Dickerson, Denitria Ford, Lara Gunnells, Mary Holmes, Alyssa McCombs, Kimberly McKee, Trinity Philips and Raushau Sanders at substitute teachers of CNP workers;

—Approved hiring Austin Noaker (businsess education teacher at PCHS), Sharon Bozeman (school bus driver) and Caitlyn Stanford (CNP worker at Iola);

—Approved contracts with Dana Long (title 1 contract inventionist at Coosa Valley Elementary School); Emily Williams (title 1 contract interventionist Coosa Valley), Lisa Rhinehart (TEAMS Contract) and Kelsie Ramsey (after school tutor);

—Approved leave of absence for Schorette Emerick, Sydney Dudchock and Carrie McCloud;

—Approved supplemental resignations for Morgan Roberts (girls junior varsity soccer coach) and Monica Hartley (boys junior varsity soccer coach)

—Approved expulsion of three student at PCHS and one student at Duran North Junior High School;

—Approved partnering with St. Clair County Schools to develop a transition-to-work program for some special needs students at PCHS beginning fall of 2022;

—Approved the purchase of five 2023 type C 78 passenger school buses. Martin said the buses cost $95,000 each and the system has applied to buy three of them with American Rescue Plan Funds and plans to buy two with local funds;

—Approved a revision of a contract with SPUR Staffing to increase the hourly rate paid to SPUR workers from $12.17/hour to $12.50/hour;

—Approved for the PCHS Band to attend a marching festival on Oct. 23 in Rome, GA;

—Approved account payable fo the month of September in the amount of $1,131,935.01;

—Approved nominating Scott Scuttle of the St. Clair County Board of Education as Alabama Association of School Boards district director for district 6;

—Selected Board Member Norma Wilder as delegate for the 2021 AASB Delegate Assembly, Board Member Greg Crump will serve as alternate; and 

—Elected Laurie Henderson as the new board president with Norman Wilder serving as vice president.

Taylor Mitchell is a Daily Home reporter covering Pell City.