Demopolis BOE hands out golden apples, discusses resource officers

Patsy Cullum, WES; Meggin Mayben, DMS, and Joseph Browder Jr., DHS. Not shown is Kristi Stokes, USJ.

Patsy Cullum, WES; Meggin Mayben, DMS, and Joseph Browder Jr., DHS. Not shown is Kristi Stokes, USJ.

One teacher from each of the city’s four campuses received a golden apple as Teachers of the Year at the Demopolis City School Board meeting Monday.

Honored were Patsy Cullum, first grade teacher at Westside Elementary Kristi Stokes, third grade teacher at U.S. Jones Elementary; Meggin Mayben, history, art and broadcasting teacher at Demopolis Middle, and Joseph Browder, Jr., U. S. History teacher at Demopolis High School.

Together they have 80 years’ experience as teachers, with Cullum having half of that. She is proud of the “sparks” she has placed in the minds of her students that lead to happy, successful lives since joining the system in 1975. Stokes, with 12 years, said one of her influences to be a teacher was current School Board member Carolyn Moore who taught her in the fifth grade.

Mayben, hired by Demopolis in 2005, believes all students are creative and wants them to create and think for themselves, but especially be themselves. Browder, who came to DHS in 2000, has the desire to drive young people to go beyond their demographic means and contribute to the quality of life in west Alabama.

The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Demopolis Police Department for School Resource Officers, contingent upon clarification of the contract.

Two officers now divide their time between two campuses. The DCSS and DPD split the salaries. Board member Jim Stanford questioned whether two officers are required, citing the need to hold down expenses.

Board attorney Alex Braswell said the DPD has to weigh the need to handle crime and vandalism versus an active shooter situation.

Specifications for a Special Needs bus and an invitation to bid on the vehicle received approval from the board.

Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said Fleet Renewal Funds can be carried over from previous years. The DCSS has some money for a new bus in reserve.

Also approved were the following:

  • Certain televisions and computer equipment were declared surplus.
  • Out-of-state travel was approved for the DMS Junior Beta Club in March; DHS Girls Basketball Tournament in Montgomery this month, and the DHS Band and Dance Corps to travel to Florida for bowl game appearances during Christmas break.
  • Contract between USJ and Landmark Tour and Travel for an April trip.
  • Purchase of playground equipment for USJ.

Under personnel matters, the board approved advertising the position of Special Education Coordinator to oversee activities pertaining both to special needs and gifted students.

The board approved the following personnel changes:

  • Resignations: Jennifer Pruett, Teacher, Westside Elementary, effective Dec. 31, and Kim Logan, Special Education Coordinator, effective Dec. 18.
  • Conditional employment: Janie Basinger WES teacher, and Christopher Glover, Technology coordinator, both beginning Jan. 4.
  • Substitutes: Jennifer Helms, Miranda Luker and Angela Flurry House. They will be filling in for two teachers who will be on Family Medical Leave beginning Jan. 4.

In his report Kallhoff said teachers will report on Jan. 4, the day before students return, for professional development. He stressed the need for continuous learning and said he hopes to build in more professional development days in the next school term.

Kallhoff praised the Child Nutrition workers at each school for excellent ratings from the Alabama Department of Public Health. DMS earned a perfect 100; WES and DHS, a 99, and USJ, a 98.

He expects to have ready for board approval in February both a revised salary schedule and a policy of virtual schools.

He reminded the board of the Young Authors Showcase and Symposium January 25 from 5-7:30 p.m. at DHS, featuring 23 student writers and Robert Little as keynote speaker. Joining them will be local authors who will share their published work.

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 19, since the regularly scheduled date is a holiday.