Bell hired as head basketball coach

Dan Bell was hired as the varsity boys head basketball coach and language arts teacher for Oneonta Middle School during Monday night’s meeting of the Oneonta City Board of Education.

During his introduction to the board, Bell, of Huntsville, said his priority will be teaching, however, he hopes to produce a team the school will be proud of.

Brad Mitchell, of Douglas, was also introduced at the meeting as a middle school math teacher.

In other business, the board accepted the resignations of art teacher Kevin Aldridge, and high school math teachers Neal and Susan Wester. In a separate personnel move by the board, Jacob Hibbs was approved as a high school math teacher.

Supt. Scott Coefield then presented the board with plans to approve the negotiated bid awarded to Whitaker Contractor Corporation for paving and traffic flow improvements, however, the board decided to continue discussion on the topic at a later date.

“This is a good action plan,” said Oneonta School Board president Don Maples. “However, I feel like we are still in the early process, we have a lot more questions to answer, and it’s a lot of money to spend. It’s too big, too costly, and too complex to approve tonight.”

Maples also suggested the board see firsthand the traffic flow problems when school starts. Coefield and the rest of the board agreed.

“I would love for all of you to join me one morning,” Coefield said. “I think we need to see the confusion. You gain the best appreciation when you are watching, because even though we haven’t formally asked for the parents’ input on the situation, I’ve had many come up to me and ask, ‘When are y’all going to do something about this traffic flow?’”

The board continued to discuss the project and the possibility of resealing and focusing on safety issues associated with the traffic flow.

Possible solutions included placing barriers in predetermined places to distinguish certain drop off and pick up areas. If parents weren’t able to pick up and drop off their students at different locations, and instead had a certain spot, depending on the student’s grade, they had to pick up and drop off, this could help in alleviating traffic congestion, according to the board.

“This close to school, I think we should focus on anything we can do for safety and look at all of this again next summer,” Maples said.

Present at the meeting were Coefield, Maples, and board members Kitty Cheek, Jimmy Stewart, Ricky Hicks, and Geoff Smith.