Headlines News

No county bands in Christmas parades

White sworn in; chairman elected

Judge Karean Reynolds, left, administers the oath to Loumeek White as his wife Keiana White holds the Bible. Standing with them are daughters, from left, Trinidy White, Hope White, and Bianca White.

News Publisher

After considerable discussion at their regular meeting Thursday, November 19, Escambia County Board of Education members agreed to continue guidelines prohibiting school bands from participating in parades.
Superintendent John Knott said county schools have had communities asking the high school bands to participate in Christmas parades. The board had previously developed a plan for COVID-19 including an area that addressed bands in parades. According to guidelines, all school-sponsored special activities are suspended until such time as reconsidered based on risks.
Knott brought the matter to the board for consideration although he was not recommending changing guidelines. Citing heightened concerns across the state and around the holidays, he told the board, “I have considerable concerns about relaxing the guidelines we have in place.”
At an event on campus, the school has oversight but none in a parade setting, Knott said. After discussion, the board agreed to continue their previous guidelines, so no public high school bands will march in this year’s Christmas parades.
Loumeek White, new District 1 board member, was sworn in as was Kevin Hoomes, who ran for reelection unopposed.
Each November, the board elects a chairman and vice-chairman. W.J. Grissett held the chairman’s position until he stepped down from the board this year. Cindy Jackson had been serving as vice-chairman.
Jackson, who was chairing Thursday’s meeting, called for nominations for chairman. Kevin Hoomes nominated Jackson, with Mike Edwards seconding. Coleman Wallace nominated Danny Benjamin.
The roll call vote was as follows:
Kevin Hoomes, District 1 – Jackson
Danny Benjamin, District 2 – Benjamin
Mike Edwards, District 3 – Jackson
Cindy Jackson, District 4 – Jackson
Loumeek White, District 5 – Benjamin
David Nolin, District 6 – Jackson
Coleman Wallace, District 7 – Benjamin
Jackson was elected chairman, 4 to 3.
Jackson called for nominations for vice-chairman. David Nolin nominated Mike Edwards. Danny Benjamin nominated Coleman Wallace.
The roll call vote was as follows:
Hoomes – Edwards
Benjamin – Wallace
Edwards – Edwards
Jackson – Edwards
White – Wallace
Nolin – Edwards
Wallace – Wallace
Edwards was elected vice-chairman, 4 to 3.
The board approved the following personnel recommendations made by Knott.

  1. Paula Ferguson, elementary teacher, Escambia County Middle School, effective October 22, 2020 (amended date)
  2. Glenda Miller, math teacher, Escambia County High School, effective November 18, 2020
  3. Lindsey Morgan, elementary teacher, Escambia County Middle School, effective December 18, 2020
  4. Cheri Parker, LPN aide, W.S. Neal High School, effective November 29, 2020
  5. Amanda Matta, bus driver, Atmore Bus Shop, effective November 16, 2020
  6. Odia Berry, custodian, Escambia County High School, effective November 19, 2020 (replacing Bessie Felder)
  7. Roland Hall, teacher, Title I After School Program, Escambia County High School, effective November 16, 2020
  8. Barbara Whatley, teacher, Title I After School Program, Escambia County High School, effective November 16, 2020
  9. Dudley Fountain, HVAC / electrician, Atmore Maintenance Department, effective January 4, 2020 (replacing Joshua Lambeth)