School Board members installed; school system gets C on state report card

At the Greene County Board of Education’s monthly meeting held Monday November 21, 2022, Dr. Carol Zippert officially opened the meeting and conducted the preliminary items on the agenda, including the presentation of the FY 2021 Audit Report presented by Shelly Patrenos of the Alabama Office of Public Examiners.
Following the Audit Report, Zippert vacated her position at the meeting and two new board members were sworn in – Mr. Robert Davis for District 1 and Mr. Brandon Merriweather for District 2. District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne conducted the installation ceremony as Merriweather’s mother held the Bible for him and Davis’ wife held the Bible for him.
Following the installation, the board re-organization was conducted by Attorney Hank Sanders. After explaining the procedure, Attorney Sanders opened the floor for nominations for Board President. Mr. Merriweather nominated Mr. Leo Branch and Ms. Carrie Dancy nominated herself. Mr. Branch received three votes: Merriweather, Davis and himself; Dancy received two votes:  Verionca Richardson and herself. Sanders called for a motion to accept Mr. Branch as Board President for this term. The vote to accept was unanimous.
Attorney Sanders called for nominations for Vice President and Ms. Dancy nominated Ms. Richardson. No other nominations were offered. Ms. Richardson was also accepted by unanimous vote.
Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones focused his report on the school system’s report card from state testing for the 2021-2022 school term. Grades tested included 3rd, the entire middle school and the 11th grade. According the Dr. Jones, the Greene County School District received a 70 ( C ) on the State Report card, which is the same score the District received  the last time the State Report Card scorer was released in 2018-2019.
The indicator scores for the District were Academic Achievement, Academic Growth, Graduation Rate, College and Career Readiness and Chronic Absenteeism.  The District received 6.64 of the possible 20 points for Academic Achievement. Greene County School District received 27.75 of the possible 30 points for Academic Growth due to the fact that 92.51% of the students tested grew academically during the school year.  The District received 24.32 points of the possible 30 points for the Graduation Rate.  Greene County received 4.60 points of the possible 10 points for the College and Career- Readiness indicator and 7.17 of the possible 10 points for Chronic Absenteeism.
Superintendent Jones noted that the last testing period followed nearly an entire school year of virtual classes due to the pandemic. “At home learning is difficult without proper guidance and supervision. The district will work diligently to improve the scores in each indicator,” he said.
The Superintendent encouraged parents to ensure that our Scholars attend school everyday to decrease Chronic Absenteeism which is when a student is out of school for 18 or more days during the school year regardless if the absence is excused or unexcused. Also, parents are encouraged to enroll our scholars in after school programs and take advantage of summer school to give our scholars the best opportunity to be successful.
The board approved the following personnel items recommended by the superintendent.
Employment: Cassandra Kelley, Long-Term Substitute, Greene County Learning Academy for 2022-2023 School Term; Victoria Moore, Chemistry/Physics Teacher, Greene County High School for 2022-2023 School Term.
Custodian Department: Willie Harkness from full-time Substitute Janitor to 3-day Substitute Janitor at Greene County Career; Jerome Jackson, from split hours at Greene County Career Center to Full-time Janitor at Greene County High School.
2022-2023- Supplemental Contracts: Ephraim Russell, Band Coach, Greene County High School; Henry Miles, Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Quenton Walton, Assistant Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Tavaris Lacy, Assistant Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Marquavis King, Assistant Football Coach, Robert Brown Middle School; Ashley Moody, Cheer Coach, Robert Brown Middle School.
2022-2023 – Robert Brown Supplemental Contracts – Basketball: Henry Miles, 8th Grade Boys Basketball Coach; Marquavis King, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Quentin Walton, 7th Grade Boys Basketball Coach; Tavaros Lacy, Assistant Boys Basketball Coach; Shafontaye Myers, Grills Basketball Coach; Ashley Moody, Cheer Coach.
T.E.A.M.S. Contract: KaNeeda Coleman; Havelen Carodine; Elroy Skinner; Tracy Hinton; Dutchess Jones.
After School Tutorial Program-School Nurse: Jacqueline Raby; Dorothy Jones; Brenda Lawrence;
Mentor Teachers for 2022-2023 School Term: Teresa Atkins; Angela White; Kaneeda Coleman; Tura Edwards; Sharron Martin; Siegfried Williams; Felicia Smith; Ashley Moody; Vanessa Bryant; Annie Howard; Raven Bryant; Carolyn Beck; Montoya Binion.
Approval of Mentor Teachers for 2021-2022 School Term: Patricia Rhone; Walter Taylor; Felecia Smith; Rhinnie Scott; Janice Jeames; Raven Bryant; Valerie Moore; Doris Robinson; Rhinnie Scott.
The board approved the following administrative items.
* Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
* Approval of September 2022 and October 2022 bank reconciliations as submitted by Marquita Lennon, CSFO.
* Contract Between Greene County Board and Alabama High School Athletic
* 2022-2023 Petroleum Contract between Greene County Board and Pruett Oil Co.
Contract between Greene County Board of Education and Clear Winds Technologies Devise Repair Services.
Contract between Greene County Board and Tiffany Bishop, Education Consultant ACT Prep Facilitator.
CSFO Marquita Lennon presented the following Financial Snapshot as of October 31, 2022.
* General Fund Balance – $2,201,143.62; reconciles to the summary Cash Report.
* Accounts Payable Check Register – $252,142.58.
* Payroll Register – $948,125.20 (total gross pay rot include employer match items).
* Combined Ending fund Balance – $4,707,128.95.Total Local revenue – $ 286,901.

School board reorganizes; hires high school principal, fails to select new CSFO

Ms. Andrea Perry
Kashaya Cockrell, Vice President and Dr. Carol Zippert, Board President

The Greene County Board of Education met in its regular session, Monday, November 15, 2021 with four board members present. Mrs. Veronica Richardson was absent due to family emergency. Since November is the appointed time to reorganize, selecting board officers and meeting logistics, the board carried out it duties in this regard. With board counsel, Attorney Hank Sanders conducting the procedures, Mr. Leo Branch offered a motion to retain the same board officers and Ms. Carrie Dancy seconded. Dr. Carol Zippert and Ms. Kashaya Cockrell were retained as Board President and Vice President respectively with a unanimous decision.
Seemingly, the board will continue to hold its monthly meetings on the third Monday of each month at 4:30 pm.
Among the personnel items was Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones’ recommendation to appoint Ms. Andrea Perry as Principal of Greene County High School. The board gave unanimous approval. Ms. Perry has been serving as interim principal since Nov. 1, 2021.
In a work session held earlier the day of the board meeting, the CSFO applicant finalists were invited to provide additional information to the board members, however, at the following board meeting, action on the CSFO position was tabled. No additional information has been made available.
In a meeting earlier this year, the school board voted to sell the Birdine School property to the Town of Forkland, which had made a request to purchase. The board’s decision was contingent on the State of Alabama conveying the property to the Greene County Board of Education. With that process completed, the board agreed to sell a portion of the Birdine School property, 10.3 acres to the Town of Forkland by Warranty Deed for the sum of $2,000 per acre or a total sum of $20,600.
In his report, Superintendent Jones stated that the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) held a two-day review in the Greene County School System which resulted in five recommendations as follows: 1. Provide Professional Development to employees and students on the grievance process. 2. Convert one of the restrooms at the GCBOE to an unisex bathroom to accommodate a handicap accessible stall. 3. Raise the handicap signage to 6′ at the GCBOE. 4. Make a handicap accessible van parking at GCCC. If the recommendations (opportunities) are completed within 30 days, the district report will be free of citations. 5. Hard copy of Parent & Student Information Guide (provided onsite). It had been 28 years since OCR made a site visit to Greene County Schools.
In his maintenance update, Superintendent Jones reported that the sewer pump needed replacing at Greene County High. The estimated cost is $11,000 – $15,000. New doors for the Central Office have not arrived yet. Other repairs at the Central Office are completed, except for the final walk through by contractor and state officials.
Dr. Jones also gave an update on the Comer Capital Group that is working with the board on refinancing bonds relative to the Greene County High School. He stated that Comer Capital is soliciting underwriters which will be compiled and submitted to the board for final selection.
Other personnel items approved by the board included the following:
Employment – Wanda Gaitor, from 9 month employee to 10 month employee, secretary at Greene County High School; Anthony Atkins as custodian at Greene County Board.
Family Medical Leave – Montoya Binion, from August 10 to Nov. 1, 2021; Gloria McGhee, from Nov. 29 to Jan. 17, 2022.
Supplemental Contract – Cyonti Lewis as assistant girls basketball coach at Robert Brown Middle School.
Rescind – Supplemental contract for Elroy Skinner as assistant girls basketball coach for 2021-2022.
Other administrative items approved by the board included the following:
* Payment of all bills, claims and payroll.
* Memorandum of understanding between Greene County School board and West Alabama Mental Health Center.
* Increase girls basketball coach supplement to $3,200.

Greene County candidates qualify for 2020 elections

Qualifying for the 2020 Alabama March Primary Elections closed on Friday, November 8, 2019 with several Greene Countians vying for public office. Greene County District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne, seeking her third term in office, is unopposed in the March Primary.
Arnelia “Shay” Johnson, who is currently employed in the County’s Appraisal Office is seeking the position of Revenue Commissioner along with the incumbent Revenue Commissioner, Barbara McShan, who is completing two years of the unexpired term of former Commissioner Brenda Goree. McShan was appointed Greene County Revenue Commissioner by Governor Kay Ivey in April, 2018 and assumed the position July 1, 2018.
Greene County School Board positions in Districts 3,4,5 will also be up in 2020. Mr. Leo Branch, the incumbent in District 4, is unopposed for the March Primary. Ms. Veronica Richardson has qualified for School Board District 3, along with the incumbent Mr. William Morgan. Mrs. Mary Otieno has qualified for School Board District 5, along with incumbent Ms. Carrie Dancy.
The position of Constable is open in each of the five districts in Greene County. Mr. Lester Brown has qualified for Constable in District 1; Mr. John Steele, Jr. in District 2; Mr. Spiver Gordon in District 3; Rev. James E. Carter in District 4 and Mr. Jesse Lawson in District 5.
The Alabama Primary Election is scheduled for March 3, 2020.