Archived Story

BOE chooses new leaders

Published 10:14am Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Tallapoosa County Board of Education chose new leaders last night at its annual meeting.

Martin Johnson will serve as chairman, and Randy Anderson was elected as vice-chair.

“(Johnson and Anderson) are the two councilpersons that have served the longest – they have a good grasp of what we are trying to do,” said Joe Windle, superintendent. “They have an understanding of the communities we serve, and they also understand our vision for where we want to take this school system.”

The board took the next step towards getting the Edward Bell Career Technical Center operational. The board unanimously accepted the employment of Gerry Moses as the county’s new career technical director.

“This was the most important step to get the right person with the right skill set,” Windle said. “We needed an individual that had experienced this before.”

Windle said Moses has worked at two career tech centers before and started the last center he worked for.

“He knows how to start up and lay out the timelines,” Windle said.

Windle said Moses also brings with him knowledge of how the state department of education works.

The board decided to extend the contract of the system’s pyschometrist in order to attempt to save money. The previous contract was for ten months, which left the board at a loss when summer arrived.

“During the summer, we do a great deal of testing, and we usually have to contract out for an extra person,” Windle said. “By putting her on 12 months, she will be able to do the testing during the summer and we won’t have to bring anyone else in.”

The board also decided to change the contract for custodians to set high school as the minimum level of education.

Following the regular business of the board, the public was invited to address the board.

Frank Holley was the first to address the board. Holley asked several questions including who decides where Edward Bell students went after the school closed and if the closing of the school has saved the board money.

Eric Hutchins, who identified himself as legal counsel for Holley, discussed an incident where taping of school busses was not allowed. Hutchins express that it was his view that the videographers had a right to tape the busses and warned that the case could go as far as federal court.

Ronald Jackson, a representative for Citizens for Better Schools and Sustainable Communities, also discussed the taping incident in addition to talking about a recent settlement the board entered into with the Office for Civil Rights. Jackson then told the board that his group was leading a petition to help reduce class sizes in Tallapoosa County.

Board member Randy Anderson then took the floor.

“I agree – I want smaller class sizes,” Anderson said. “But we don’t have the money; the state doesn’t give us the money.”

Anderson said that some citizen organizations have been bogging down the board with requests and legal matters and are hurting, rather than helping the students.

“We are wasting money doing things that are not important to the students of Tallapoosa County,” Anderson said. “It is my hope that we can come to resolution on some of this stuff. When we all start working together instead of against each other, we are going to get more accomplished.”