‘Champion of education’


Blount County Superintendent of Education Rodney Green congratulates Ron Gholson on his recent retirement.

Blount County Superintendent of Education Rodney Green congratulates Ron Gholson on his recent retirement.

Monday afternoon, the Blount County Board of Education held one last meeting before teachers headed back to the classroom yesterday. Superintendent Rodney Green told the board that “while this is a year that is going to be different, it can also be rewarding. Our teachers are ready to get back. Our students are ready to get back.

“I am very satisfied with our blended model and our remote model. Around 25 percent or approximately 1,900 of our students have chosen remote learning. I am just as excited for those students as for those who will be in the classroom.”

Before they moved into the business portion of the meeting, Green had one more item to discuss. In a special presentation, he recognized and thanked Ron Gholson for his commitment to Blount County Schools through his years of reporting on education for The Blount Countian.

“Ron, we appreciate all you have done for education in Blount County,” he said. “You were always fair, you always made sure our message was shared, and you always gave education a voice. Blount County Schools, our teachers, and our students are very fortunate to have had you. You have been a champion of education making sure this community knew what was going on in our schools as you shared our stories. We appreciate your passion for education and your dedication.”

Gholson, who retired June 30, said, “One of the greatest compliments I ever received came from Jim Carr when he referred to me as a friend of education and a friend of our schools. I loved working with our school systems. We have the best and it was important to me that Blount County knew. So I thank you for this. It means the world to me.”

Mitchie Neel, director of the Blount County Education Foundation, also thanked Gholson for being a friend to the foundation over the years. She was on hand to present the foundation’s report on its summer camps. (For more on the camps, see “Successful summer” on the front page.)

In other matters, the board approved Green’s operating recommendations for the coming month. It approved: General matters

• payment for the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Leadership Institute/Professional Development Program for the 2020-2021 school year.

• Caleb Bailey (football) and Holly Winfrey (band) as non-compensated volunteers at Susan Moore High for the 2020-2021 school year. Agreements/contracts

• custodial work contracts for Briar Fowler (Appalachian), Felicia Branham (Career Tech Center), Tiffany Barnett (Learning Center and Cleveland High), Kayla Tidwell (Cleveland Elementary), Priscilla Lowe (Hayden Primary and Middle) for the 2020- 2021 school year.

• contracts for Ida Burton, Denise Lybrand, and Kelly Shoemaker for 2020 summer camps.

• Locust Fork’s contract with Wendy Oden to serve as concession stand manager during the 2020 football season.

• contract with Behavioral Pediatric Institute of Alabama from July 30 to Oct. 30. Leaves of absence

• Kaitlin Hampton, Locust Fork Elementary, extend leave through Oct. 23.

• Cayla Quinn, Appalachian, Aug. 3 through Dec. 18.

• Sherry Whitworth, bus driver, Hayden schools, Aug. 10 through Aug. 31. Resignations

• Angelia K. Craft, bus driver, Hayden schools, effective July 29.

• Jeremy W. Penny, teacher, Hayden High, effective July 8.

• Sheila Sherrer, teacher, Hayden High, effective Sept. 1 (retirement).

• Debra Talley, gifted teacher, Blount County Schools, effective Sept. 1 (retirement).

• Cecilla Patterson West, bus driver, Southeastern, effective July 31.

• Sherry P. Whitworth, bus driver, Hayden schools, effective Sept. 1 (retirement). Transfers

• Christy Albano, from utility bus driver to bus driver, Southeastern, effective Aug. 10.

• Brittany Etheredge, from special education teacher to school counselor, Hayden Middle, effective Aug. 4.

• Bobby Shane Howard, from English Language Arts teacher to Media Specialist, Hayden High, effective Aug. 4.

• George Raymon Moore, from bus driver for Susan Moore to bus driver for Appalachian and Appalachian’s BCCTC route, beginning Aug. 10.

• Angela Beasley, from PE aide/ school technology technician at Cleveland Elementary to administrative assistant/ bookkeeper for the technology department, effective Aug. 10. Employment (certified)

• Amy Gilliland, long-term substitute elementary teacher, Appalachian, Aug. 4 through Dec. 18.

• Tracy Johnson, long-term substitute teacher, Blountsville, Aug. 4 through Oct. 13.

• Jacob Austin McCurry, English Language Arts teacher, Hayden High, beginning Aug. 4.

• Jessica Lashae Eidson, long-term substitute English Language Arts teacher, Cleveland High, Aug. 26 through Oct. 6.

• Olivia Henry, long-term substitute teacher, Locust Fork Elementary, Aug. 4 through Oct. 23 (contingent upon certification). Employment (support)

• Andrew Lyle Hicks, technician for technology department, beginning Sept. 14 (contingent upon background clearance through the Alabama State Department of Education).

• Andrea Tyler Johnson, ACCESS facilitator/instructional aide, Cleveland

High, beginning Aug. 10 (contingent upon background clearance through the ASDE).

All members of the board were present. Students return to school on Thursday, Aug. 13. The next board meeting is Aug. 12, at 1 p.m., at the district central office adjacent to the courthouse in Oneonta.