BY RANDY TATANO
Special to Atmore News
After years of being manned with a skeleton crew which often included only one or two people, the Atmore office of Escambia County Schools will now have a full staff … offering area parents a more convenient outlet to ask questions or air concerns. This “Grand Re-Opening” is part of the commitment to make sure the instructional support staff will be closer to schools showing the greatest need according to current state test score data and employee data.
Anyone visiting the office at 501 South Pensacola Street will be greeted by Amie Kramer, who has worked closely with new Superintendent Michele McClung for fifteen years. Their relationship and being on the same page as far as education is concerned was key in Kramer’s decision to follow the Superintendent from Mobile. “I knew her vision for the school system and I knew she’d need some help. We’re here to support parents in every way and my intent is that they leave here with a smile. Sometimes parents just need someone to talk to.” Kramer will be on hand to assist parents in the community, get answers to their questions, and facilitate in solving problems. She acts as a liaison to the superintendent and debriefs with her daily on issues and concerns brought to her by the parents of students in Atmore.
McClung says the office has been staffed to promote equity for families of Escambia County Public Schools who reside in Atmore. “While the instructional support team supports all schools across the county, we have the key leaders set up in offices in Atmore to better serve the Atmore community and utilize Atmore’s professional development training there onsite for collaborative planning and quality training to occur.”
School Board Member Coleman Wallace, whose district includes Atmore, is thrilled with the increased presence and the Superintendent’s commitment to Atmore. “If there’s such a thing as a black man being tickled pink, I’m over the top. I’m excited about her sensitivity to the Atmore community. Having a person in place here is to the community’s advantage.”
In the past, parents might have thought no one was in the Atmore office with so few cars in the parking lot. New office hours are 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday with a staff of about ten people on any given day. Kramer is also personally undertaking the remodeling of the building, which has a dated industrial look. Since her office is the first thing visitors will see, she’s already given it a makeover, creating a more cheerful and welcoming environment for parents who drop by.
McClung hopes parents will take advantage of the facility, and likens the availability to basic customer service. “The Escambia County Public School System is committed to providing quality customer service to all of our families in the entire district while promoting excellence in education for every student every single day! We are one school system, one community of learners, and we all contribute to one heartbeat necessary for our students, teachers, leaders and community to thrive.”
Brewton resident Randy Tatano is a veteran TV news reporter and network producer, and is currently a novelist and freelance writer for the Escambia County School System.