Demopolis BOE gets recognized by students, staff

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 16, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; In conjunction with School Board Recognition Month, a statewide honor, the members of the Demopolis Board of Education held their January meeting a little differently.

High school students who participate in the Future Teachers of Alabama presented the board members with not only refreshments, but also a taste of what they have been doing for the last semester.

The main focus of the FTA is to prepare students for becoming a teacher. This year, they were able to go into classrooms at both Westside Elementary and U.S. Jones Elementary to observe teachers through the Exploring Teaching Students program.

The group also has future plans in mind, including, community projects such as visiting local nursing homes, doing landscaping for the school and co-sponsoring the Miss Demopolis High School pageant with the DHS chapter of the Anchor Club.

After being serenaded by a portion of the DHS choir under the direction of Arletha Perry, the board conducted its regular meeting.

Administrative reports

Connie Brown, principal at Westside Elementary reported the addition was complete and they finished phase one of the moving-in process. Phase two of the moving process will continue this week, she said.

Dr. Tony Speegle, principal at U.S. Jones Elementary, reported that 334 students, which represent 63 percent of the student population, were recognized as honor roll students last semester.

Dr. Isaac Espy, principal at Demopolis High School, said the renovation of the roof is underway at the high school. Furthermore, he said there are only 30 days for students to prepare before taking the next round of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.

Clarence Jackson, principal at Demopolis Middle School, asked Loretta Smith and Niko Phillips, who work with the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority and the Alabama Department of Public Health, to present the board with information on Life Skills, a substance-abuse prevention program.

According to Phillips, the Life Skills curriculum &8212; which spans over 15 different information sessions &8212; is more than 80 percent effective on sixth grade students in helping them to avoid tobacco, drugs and alcohol. Furthermore, the program could be offered to the students at no cost to the school, due to funding secured by THA and the health department.

After hearing their presentation, the board voted unanimously to approve the implementation of the Life Skills program for the sixth grade classes at Demopolis Middle School.

Superintendent&8217;s report

Superintendent Wayne Vickers updated the board on the status of the four-room addition at DHS and the stadium project.

The original plan was to bid out the two projects together in order to save some costs. For the new timeline for the projects, the four-room addition and awning will have bids in by Jan. 31 and the stadium project will be bid out by Feb. 29.

Furthermore, Vickers said the system has applied for four $250,000 state grants &8212; one for each school &8212; to be used for other capital projects. The grants are competitive and all schools, two-year colleges and libraries in the state were eligible to apply.