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.

Local Referendum No. 1 for Greene County Hospital passes 3,004 to 975; Joe Biden and Doug Jones win in Greene County; Jones looses to Tuberville statewide

4,797 people voted in Greene County in yesterday’s General Election, this was a turnout of 65.2% based on 7,350 people listed as registered voters in the county. The referendum was approved in every precinct in the county with the exception of Jena on the northern end of the county.
The voters passed Local Referendum No. 1 by an overwhelming vote of 3,004 (75.5%) to 975 (24.5%) in favor of a four (4) mil increase in the property tax for the Greene County Hospital and Health System. Dr. Marcia Pugh, GCHS CEO said, “We are grateful to the voters of Greene County for deciding to increase taxes to support the continued operation and improvement of our hospital.”
Ms. Lucy Spann, a member of the GCHS Board said, “We want to keep our hospital, nursing home, physician’s clinic and 24/7 emergency room operating. We don’t want to be like Pickens County and other rural counties that have had to close their hospitals. This tax increase will help us to upgrade our facilities, equipment and staff to keep operating.”
This property tax will go into effect with the October 1, 2021 billing from the Greene County Revenue Commissioner’s Office. Four mils are equal to $4.00 additional ad valorem tax, per $1,000 of appraised value, of your property. At current property tax valuations for Greene County, a mil is worth $160,000, which means the Greene County Hospital will receive more than $600,000 a year toward its operating budget.
Greene County supported Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for President and Vice-President over Trump and Pence by a vote of 3,880 (81.3%) to
875 (18.3%), with 8 votes for Jo Jorgensen. Trump was successful statewide in Alabama by a vote of 1,430,589 (62.47%) to 834,533 (36.44%) for Biden, and 24,902 (1.09%) for independent candidate Jo Jorgensen. Trump and Pence will receive Alabama’s 9 electoral votes.
At press time, several critical states, including Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada were still counting their votes and the winner of the electoral college vote had not been determined.
In the vote for U. S. Senator, Greene County voted 3,958 (82.89%) for incumbent Doug Jones and 816 (17.09%) for former Auburn football coach, Tommy Tuberville. However, statewide, Tuberville won with 1,381,938 (60.44%) to 904,683 (39.56%) votes for Jones. Tuberville will take over the Alabama U. S. Senate seat the first week of January 2021.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell was re-elected to the U. S. House of Representatives for a fifth two-year term.
Statewide other Republican candidates were elected to President of the Alabama Public Service Commission, Supreme Court and Appellate judgeships and other positions.
Local candidates in Greene County who were successful in the March 3, 2020 Democratic primary, held before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, had their elections confirmed in yesterday’s vote. This included: Lillie Osborne for District Judge, Arnelia “Shay” Johnson for Revenue Commissioner, Veronica Richardson for District 3, Leo Branch for District 4 and Carrie Dancy for District 5 School Board. Lester Brown was elected Constable in District 1, John Steele Jr. in District 2, Spiver W. Gordon in District 3, James Carter in District 4 And Jesse Lawson in District 5.
All six statewide amendments were passed statewide with votes between 50.1 and 77% of the vote. In Greene County, State Amendments No. 1,2,3,5 and 6 were disapproved by the voters; only Amendment no. 4 was approved by a large margin.