Education City school board gets ‘A’ from auditors; students, faculty honored | The Cullman Tribune


City school board gets ‘A’ from auditors; students, faculty honored

Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson, left, with Cullman High and Middle Schools’ All-State Choir members Natalie Thrasher, Laci New, Kristin Chau Le, Angelina Hughes, Cici Tran, and CHS/CMS Choir Director Sarah Jane Skinner / W.C. Mann for The Tribune

CULLMAN -  It was an evening of accolades as the Cullman City School Board convened for its regular meeting Tuesday evening.

Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson began the meeting by recognizing Cullman High School (CHS) Assistant Principal Aaron Sparks for writing a grant to help secure funds for upgrades in the school’s gym lobby and restrooms that will make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and fire code regulations.  The grant was for $50,000.

She then presented certificates of achievements to five CHS and Cullman Middle School choir students inducted into the Alabama All-State Choir: Natalie Thrasher, Laci New, Kristin Chau Le, Angelina Hughes and Cici Tran.

Patterson herself was presented with a certificate by School Board President Suzanne Harbin for earning National Superintendent Certification through an 18-month process in which, according to Harbin, she was “providing world-class instructional leadership, building and managing a district budget, mastering effective communication and political skills--which we know is very dicey right now, using 21st century technology effectively in instruction and in management.”

Patterson was also required to do a TED talk as part of her certification.

2017 audit report

Jason Harpe of the accounting firm of Carr, Riggs, and Ingram presented to the board the report of its 2017 audit of the city school system.  Auditors had no negative findings to report, giving the system its highest rating, noting that the system had an operating reserve of 90 to 91 days.  The intended operating reserve was a minimum of 30 days at an operating cost of $65,000 per day; Harpe said the 90-day reserve indicated that the system had well exceeded its intended goals.

Other board business

The board heard a favorable report from Principal Lane Hill about educational and staff development achievements at Cullman Middle School.  The school was among only 10.6 percent of schools in the state to receive an “A” in the Alabama State Department of Education (ASDE) 2016-2017 State Report Card.

Following are some highlights from among many items the board approved:

  • New Head Start policies and procedures
  • Stephen Ward and Associates to coordinate hail repairs at East and West Elementary Schools
  • Two-week Junior Master Gardeners’ summer garden camps at East and West Elementary Schools
  • Contracts between Head Start and area physicians to provide health, vision, dental and TB screenings
  • Retirement of Rebecca Smith, CHS
  • Faculty and Staff resignations: Anna Parsons (East ES), Martha Bell (East ES), Cindy Steele (CHS)
  • Termination of Jessie Nash, CHS
  • Leaves of absence: Rita Dean (East ES), Erin Tidwell (CHS), Matthew Cory Myer (CHS), Kelly Hayes (West ES), Sarah Beth Norrell (Cullman Primary), Tonya Trammell (Cullman Primary), Sandi Allred (Cullman Primary), plus several one to three-day leaves.
  • Temporary hires to fill leaves: Meaghan Britton (2nd grade, West ES), Erica Veal (Special Ed., Cullman Primary), Phyllis Thompson (Math, CMS)

The Cullman City School Board’s next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, May 15 at 5 p.m. in the Central Office Board Room, with work session at 4:30.  The public is invited to attend.

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  • CHS Assistant Principal Aaron Sparks and Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson
  • CMS Principal Lane Hill