The Blount County Board of Education met in special session Monday and approved Superintendent Rodney Green’s operating recommendations for the district. It approved:
• budget amendment one for fiscal year 2019, incorporating several revenue and expense items received since the 2019 budget was approved.
• roof repairs on the J. B. Pennington High gym.
• renewing the roofing repair and maintenance contract with Standard Roofing of Montgomery Inc. through Dec. 19.
Contracts and agreements:
• with Heidi Chambers to provide nursing services for students needing medical care during extracurricular activities from Jan. 7, through Sept. 2.
• with the following individuals to provide tutoring services at Hayden Elementary from Jan. 8 until April 5: Hali Burton, Jamie Mullins, Mallory Nix, and Lindsay McIlroy.
• with the following individuals to provide tutoring and credit recovery services at Southeastern from Jan. 8 until May 1: Michael Gillespie, Sherry Girard, Amy Gunn, and Jessica Richmond.
• with The Solace Group to provide a behavioral aide from Jan. 8 until May 23.
• Hayden Middle contract with Franklin Covey for the Aligning Academics professional development activity on Jan. 21.
• the A+ College Ready contract for Locust Fork Elementary and High schools.
• the Behavioral Health Systems Inc. agreement for drug testing and screening.
• with Elizabeth Weas to provide speech and debate coaching for National Amazing Shake students.
• the Zonar Systems three-year agreement for bus tracking and panic buttons for 48 school buses to be purchased in 2019.
• the stipend of $50 per day for Locust Fork High teachers to attend the AP/E3 training this summer, to be paid from the schools’s 2019 Title 1 funds.
• the retirement resignations of David Allcorn and Vickie Timmerman, both effective Feb. 1, 2019.
• Heather Brooks as long-term substitute teacher for Christen Reno effective Jan. 19, and Charlene Downs as long-term substitute teacher for Melissa Moore effective Jan. 8, Appalachian School.
• Larry Brooks as school bus driver for Susan Moore and Greg Thomas as school bus driver for Susan Moore High’s bus route to and from the Blount County Career Technical Center, both effective Jan. 8.
• Jessica Owensby as school nurse for Blount County Schools, effective Jan. 8.
• Tonya Wilson’s transfer from Child Nutrition Program employee at Blountsville Elementary to CNP manager at Susan Moore High, effective Jan. 8.
• Amanda Bullard as long-term substitute teacher for Katlyn Standridge, a teacher at the Blount County Learning Center, effective Jan. 29.
• Danielle Ori as long-term substitute teacher for Meredith Moore, a teacher at Susan Moore Elementary, effective Feb. 1.
• Christy Culwell’s transfer from special education aide at Blountsville Elementary to bus driver for Blountsville Elementary and J.B. Pennington, effective Feb. 1.
• Megan Lowery as a substitute school nurse during the 2018-2019 school year.
• allowing Locust Fork High and Elementary schools to open an additional checking account to be used only for credit card processing deposits.
• Service Rules and Regulations for the Locust Fork sanitary sewer system.
Superintendent Rodney Green’s report to the board on upcoming activities included the following items:
• The county basketball tournament will be held at Cleveland High during the week of Monday, Jan. 21, through Saturday, Jan. 26.
• The month of January is School Board Appreciation Month. The theme is “Superheros for Alabama Students” and will feature appropriate activities.
• A special work session for board members is being considered for Jan. 21 to prepare for the upcoming accreditation visit.
On Nov. 27, referee Earl Curtis was calling a basketball game at J.B. Pennington. He didn’t feel well and his right shoulder was hurting, so he went to the concession stand for a drink of water, mentioning his shoulder pain, but making little of it to principal Brian Kirk. Athletic trainer Corinna Daye noticed Earl was a little unsteady on his feet as he moved about the gym floor. She notified SRO Tracey Libscomb. Tracey went down the sideline and suggested to Earl that he might need to come out of the game. Earl said there were only 30 seconds left in the half, and he’d come out at the end of the period. Which he did, heading to the coach’s office in the locker room with Tracey and Corinna accompanying him after time expired. There, he collapsed.
RN Christie Timmerman immediately started CPR, relieved by her husband Coach Alan Timmerman. Kirk dispatched himself to call 911 for an ambulance. The school’s AED (automated external defibrillator) was retrieved and rushed in by Evan Sanderson, a parent volunteer. State trooper Shannon Elkins came in to assist with CPR until cardiac nurse Jessica Owensby applied the AED pads and administered the first shock. A second shock was administered minutes later. Sometime during all the hubbub, Earl came to and wanted to go back to the gym and continue refereeing the game. He was “persuaded” otherwise. The ambulance arrived and loaded Earl – still wanting to get back to the game – for transport. A third shock was administered en route to Riverview Hospital in Gadsden.
Moral of the story: it takes a village to save a life. All of those first responders, some professional, some trained civilians (thanks to the school system’s program over the years of continual training of its personnel) closed ranks to provide the crucial attention Earl needed until he could be delivered to the hospital.
And as for Earl? He’s alive and well and recovering steadily. He can’t wait to get back to refereeing, and is mightily thankful for the efforts of all those who helped save him. He was there yesterday for the photo-op recognizing all those involved in his rescue. That’s him in the checkered shirt, fourth from the left in the photo above. And that’s the rest of them – all of those named above and a few extras to boot – filling out the lineup. They all received certificates of recognition from the American Heart Association. Earl received a complimentary portable AED from Lord Wedgwood Charity (one of the things they do) in honor of surviving his brush with mortality, and to stand him in good stead should he need it again at home (which many heart attack survivors do).
Is all of that amazing or what? If you answered “no,” how about this? That’s the second life-saving rescue performed by Blount County school employees and others – at a county school – at a basketball game – on a referee – within a 30-day period in November. (The other one was Nov. 4 at Southeastern.)