BCE acknowledges student success

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The Crenshaw County Public Schools regular board meeting was held May 16 at 5:30 p.m. All board members were present.

Kenneth Wesley, chief school finance officer, gave the financial report for March. Wesley reported the cash balance as $5,165,682.50, and CD balance of $950,000, with an estimated 4.41 months of operating reserves. The sales tax collections year to date are $23,080. The Ad Valorem year to date total was $42,327.00. Detailed financial reports are available at www.crenshaw-schools.org under finance.

Dodd Hawthorne, superintendent of Crenshaw County Schools, recognized four school organizations and their accomplishments during the board meeting.

“We have some important people with us here tonight and I always say this, but this is the best part of my job- getting to showcase and applaud our students and our teachers for their success. What a competition the county spelling bee was, right here in this room and we want to congratulate the winners-third place- Wade Cornett of Luverne, second place-Madison Nguyen of Brantley and first place winner-Rainy Stoutamire of Brantley,” Hawthorne said.

Next, Hawthorne recognized the Highland Home JAG team and their national win that brought home the first ever national title for Crenshaw County Schools. Hawthorne invited Highland Home’s JAG specialist, Leslie Flowers, up to elaborate.

“Knowledge Bowl is the hardest JAG competition, but they went all the way. The team had to learn around 300 pages worth of information and become extremely fluent with about 300 not so common vocabulary words. This team has worked so hard and has all this knowledge embedded within them. They can spew out the information they have learned at the drop of a hat. They beat every single team in the nation, and I am so proud of them and their hard work,” Flowers said.

Casey Pouncey, Highland Home FBLA sponsor, discussed the chapter’s state wins and upcoming trip to nationals in Chicago, IL.

“I took 26 students to the state FBLA competition, and 15 of those will be going to nationals. They had to work hard and do a lot of research. It is not just a simple PowerPoint. I am very proud of these awesome kids and can’t wait to get to nationals. It is expensive to go, but we have had several fundraisers and the parents have been wonderful. FBLA really helps the future for these students to be bright. It is great for students to have these opportunities that they might not ordinarily have and we are still taking donations,” Pouncey said.

The final group to be recognized was the Career Academy FBLA group, led by Cody Nichols.

“We entered 5 State competitions and we brought home 5 top 4 trophies. Nolleigh Reeves won the state title in the digital video competition, and Kendal Nichols placed fourth in the same category. We also had McKenzie Searcy competing in introductions to social media. On the web design team, we had Eli Nichols and Alana Barnes. They placed second in website design and then Shelby Malone placed fourth in broadcast journalism. We are really looking forward to taking these guys to Chicago to see what we can do at nationals, “Nichols said.

Three new/revised policy changes were approved. Beginning for the 2022/2023 freshman class, advanced core classes will carry a weight of 0.5, standard core classes a weight of 0, dual enrollment in core academic classes 1.0, and advanced placement, which is not currently available, a 1.00. Hawthorne hopes that this will decrease inflated grade point averages by taking dual enrollment advanced courses.

Wording in the personal leave policy was changed so that each time there is an increase in substitute teacher pay, the policy does not have to be revised.

Added to the truancy policy was an additional step to be taken after the 10th unexcused absence, where the student and parents will go before a truancy committee at the central office.

The personal recommendations that were approved included, resignations, transfers, new hires and medical leave.

The school board approved the following superintendent recommendations:
* Alabama high school diploma with Crenshaw County Schools advanced endorsement-The new pathway will begin with the 2022/2023 Freshman class. According to Hawthorne, the change now requires 3 foreignn language credits but will give students the flexibility of either having Career Tech or foreign language.

*approval of out-of-state field trips for Careear Academy’s FBLA, and Highland Home’s FBLA to the national competition in Chicago and a trip to be made by Highland Home students to Florida State University for basketball camp

*lawn service bid by Defee Lawn Service.

*professional services contract with Criterion Consulting Inc LLC- The Crenshaw County School’s job description manual was last updated in 2003 and Criterion will be creating a new manual.

*child nutrition program surplus equipment

The next regular board meeting will be held June 13, 2022, at 5:30 p.m.