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Demopolis digs deep into budget for school year

DEMOPOLIS-Spending money on new transportation and food providers were on the agenda for the Demopolis Board of Education at its July 18 meeting.

“We have certain safety precautions we need to take for our handicapped students,” Superintendent Wesley Hill said. “It will have some very expensive equipment and it can be used for other things since we don’t have a full bus line.”

At the meeting, Hill spoke on behalf of assistant Bailey concerning the need to contract an occupational therapist to provide service to students with disabilities and Demopolis High’s new principal, Dr. Isaac Espy, said he needed a custodian and two English teachers at his school.

“He’s going to do a wonderful job,” Hill said about Espy. “He has the kind of personal skills and administrative background that I like.”

Demopolis schools will begin their second year participating in the Alabama Reading First Initiative program. Schools will use the Voyager Program in hopes of having students reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

According to Hill, children have made improvements since participating in the program.

“They meet their benchmarks,” he said. “And this year, we will begin spending even more time in kindergarten to twelfth grade.”

The board also accepted the resignations and retirements of Brian Perry, custodian, Susann Sanders, Demopolis High English teacher, Leigh Ann Coleman, U.S. Jones Elementary teacher, and Dorothy Evans, Westside Elementary teacher.

After an executive session, the board authorized Superintendent Hill to immediately offer contracts to potential new employees when advertisement deadlines are met for positions.

It also concluded the child nutrition employee, who disputed with fellow employees, will be suspended for 20 working days without pay.

Overall, Hill said the Board has hired good, new people and he is “looking forward to a good year.”

The next board meeting is scheduled for August 8, 2005.