By SHERRY DIGMON
The Escambia County Board of Education meeting Thursday, January 12, presented an opportunity for special recognition in the school system.
School Board Appreciation Month is observed each January. Superintendent Michele McClung recognized board members and presented each with a certificate of appreciation.
Escambia County teachers of the Year 2023 were also recognized and presented with a certificate. They are as follows:
Rachel Patterson Elementary School – Rachel Hadley
Huxford Elementary School – Tiffany Hammac
Escambia County Middle School – Elementary – Alexander Alvarez
Escambia County Middle School – Secondary – Jon Durant
Escambia County High School – Stephanie Buitron
Flomaton Elementary School –Jenny Engle
Flomaton High School –Sharon Morgan
Pollard McCall Junior High School –Tammy Findley
Escambia Career Readiness Center – Thomas Fischer
W.S. Neal Elementary School – Rachel Wiggins
W.S. Neal Middle School – Angel Blackmon and Jennifer Blaney
W.S. Neal High School – Beth Caupp
McClung presented the District Good News report (see end of this article).
Chief School Financial Officer Rochelle Richardson presented the monthly financial statement for December 2022, which showed an unreserved fund balance of $16.9 million representing a 4.40-month operating reserve.
The board voted to increase mileage reimbursement to $0.655 per mile effective January 1, 2023, in accordance with State of Alabama code. According to the letter from the State of Alabama Department of Finance, the code section cited “sets the mileage rate at the amount allowed by the Internal Revenue Code for income tax deductions.”
The following personnel recommendations by McClung were approved by the board.
1. Collin Lashley, counselor, Escambia County High School (ECHS), effective January 11, 2023 (resignation accepted with exception to reason(s) in resignation letter)
1. Bradley Marcilliat, drivers education teacher, ECHS, effective January 16, 2023
2. Allison Britt, teacher, After School Program, Flomaton High School (FHS), effective January 9, 2023
3. Karen Andrews, teacher, After School Program, FHS, effective January 9, 2023
4. Sharon Morgan, teacher, After School Program, FHS, effective January 9, 2023
5. Julie McDonald, STEM teacher, After School Program, Rachel Patterson Elementary School (RPES), January 17, 2023
6. Caroline Hughes, STEM teacher, After School Program, RPES, January 17, 2023
7. Patricia Bradley, teacher, After School Program, RPES, January 17, 2023
8. April George, teacher, After School Program, RPES, January 17, 2023
9. Casey Lodge, teacher, After School Program, W.S. Neal Elementary School (WSNES), effective January 17, 2023
10. Kelli Grace, site coordinator, After School Program, WSNES, effective January 10, 2023
11. Tracy McCurdy, teacher, After School Program, WSNES, effective January 10, 2023
12. Ashley Sawyer, teacher, After School Program, WSNES, effective January 10, 2023
13. Hannah Young, bus driver, Brewton Bus Shop, effective January 13, 2023 (replacing April Monk)
1. Zachary Calhoun, math teacher, ECHS, effective January 12, 2023
Earlier in the meeting, McClung presented the District Good News.
Escambia County High School
* Healthcare students across the state participated in a Medical Billing competition: Aniya Redmond scored in the top 20 for the entire State of Alabama.
* The ECHS Ambassadors provided turkeys, hams, and food baskets to over 25 families in the Atmore area for the holidays.
* The ECHS Wrestling team is having an amazing season and is hosting a John Shears Memorial tournament on Saturday (January 14).
* All Juniors took a practice ACT Writing Assessment on Wednesday, January 11.
Escambia County Middle School
* ECMS students who demonstrated 90 percent or better growth on the fall i-Ready assessment will be going to the Wind Creek theater as a reward for their academic achievements. More than 200 students will attend. ECMS thanks Poarch for the generous donation of $6,000 through the Wind Creek Casino to Escambia County Middle School. These funds will be used to provide incentives for positive academic performance on the Winter and Spring academic assessments.
* ECMS will kick off the first Doughnuts with Dad event to promote parent involvement for the school. They are hoping to have a good turnout.
* Math teachers at ECMS were provided Waycom tablet to support math instruction.
* ECMS would like to thank the Escambia County School Board members for their generous support and especially Mr. Loumeek White for always being a presence at the school.
Rachel Patterson Elementary School
i-Ready Reading and Math Results
RPES students made significant gains in reading and math on their middle of year i-Ready assessment. A total of 228 students are scheduled to participate in the reward field trip. Programs do not teach children, but teachers teach children. RPES progress is evident from their hard work in the classroom each day. The following teachers are leading way with their i-Ready reading results:
* Mrs. Allie Brooks Mallett – highest percentage of students on grade level (green) and the most growth in kindergarten.
* Mrs. Julie Rowland – highest percentage of students on grade level (green) and the most growth in 1st grade.
* Mrs. Tonya Emmons – highest percentage of students on grade level (green) in 2nd grade.
* Ms. Jessica Lockett – the most growth in 2nd grade.
* Mrs. Lauren Beasley – highest percentage of students on grade level (green) and the most growth in 3rd grade.
Flomaton Elementary School
* FES Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Jenny Engle. Mrs. Engle is a silent soldier in the classroom and the school. She always puts kids first and consistently searches for ways to build strong relationships with her students. She teaches from bell to bell and makes teaching look easy. Her
colleagues describe her “dedicated and a teacher that looks for ways to deposit positivity into her students on a daily basis.” Congrats to Mrs. Jenny Engle
* iReady scores showed improvement across all grade levels and testing domains. Over 90 percent of students met their winter goal for reading and over 75 percent for math. As a reward for students’ success, a gaming truck visited the school for two days and students who met their winter benchmark goal were able to play in the truck for 45 minutes.
Huxford Elementary School
* Every grade level at Huxford made gains in Reading on the middle of year iReady assessment.
* 100th day of school events and Valentine’s Day Dance are being planned. Students are excited!
* HES received a $25,000 Alabama Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Grant which will provide partial funding for secured gate access to the front of the school.
Pollard-McCall Junior High School
* Recipients of the BUG award will be treated to Rabo’s Ice Cream. This is courtesy of the Brewton Kiwanis Club and Danny Cottrell. This program recognizes students who bring up at least one average a whole letter grade. For example, if they have a C, C, and a C the first nine weeks and a C, C, and B the next nine weeks, they receive this recognition.
* PMJHS recognizes their school spelling bee winner, Brenner Wallace. Brenner will compete in the district spelling bee on February 8th.
* The Buck Jones Basketball League kick off their season this week. Buck Jones will also host a girls team this year. This has not taken place in the past several years.
* Gabriel McLain, a first-grade student at PMJHS, has returned home and to school and is thriving after receiving a kidney transplant. He is a true miracle!
* Tammy Findley is the PMJHS 2023 Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Findley is well respected in the community for building relationships with all students as well as producing high academic results.
W.S. Neal Elementary School
Teachers and students have returned from the holidays and gotten right back to work. Teachers spent time on the Professional Development day as well as scheduled meetings Friday reviewing assessment data and making plans to improve instruction for increased student achievement.
* Classroom Spelling Bees are complete and the School Bee will be January 20th.
* The after-school program begins January 17th and will run 2 days a week for 2 hours.
* They are working on guidelines for the Honor Society and eligible inductees.
* They are also bringing back a program called “Eager Eagles.”
* Eligible students from the 4th grade will be assigned times to visit classrooms in
grades K-2 to assist teachers and students as needed.
W.S. Neal High School
* The following W.S. Neal High School football players were named to the All-County team.
First Team: Laketric Barnes – Running Back; Jonathon Carter – Defensive Line; Kevin Farrish – Linebacker; Second Team: Caleb Peters, Carter Hodges, Blake McNew, Colin Nelson; Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Farrish; Coach of the Year: Hugh Fountain
* W.S Neal High School Wrestling Team was crowned Region 1 Class IA- 4A Champions after going undefeated at the Regional Tournament and will advance to the state tournament.
* Senior Solomon Crapp found a Chime Card on the ground at Murphy’s gas station. He personally went on social media to find the owner. He hand delivered the card back to its rightful owner. WSNHS celebrates Solomon for his honesty and aggressiveness in returning the card.
Turtle Point Science Center
* TPSC opened new an exhibit for their federally threatened Eastern Indigo Snake with Greater Brewton Foundation Grant funds they were awarded ($1 K)
* Turtle Point personnel was chosen as a presenter for their statewide environmental education conference coming up in February
* TPSC reports lots of visitors to the center and boardwalk in this new year during great warm winter weather
This article is written in my capacity as Atmore News publisher, not as a BOE member, and I am not speaking for the board. SD