Southeastern principal to retire, J.B. Pennington coach approved


The Blount County Board of Education accepted the retirement resignation of Southeaster principal Mike Peoples during Monday’s regular meeting.

The board also approved the hiring of Todd Cassity as the new head football coach at J.B. Pennington High School.

Peoples resigns after serving as principal at Southeastern since 1997. He has 34 years in education and was a teacher at Appalachian for 10 years and assistant principal at the school for six years.

During his time at Southeastern, the school underwent a major facility addition and transitioned from an elementary/junior high to a high school.

His resignation will become effective Feb. 28.

In the other major personnel action taken Monday, the board approved the recommendation of J.B. Pennington principal Brian Kirk and hired Todd Cassity as the school’s new head football coach.

Cassity comes to Pennington from Pleasant Grove, where he was the offensive coordinator for the 5A Spartans. Pleasant Grove was 12-3 this year, losing 35-13 to St. Paul’s in the state championship game, and his offense averaged 31 points per game.

Previously, he was head coach at Gordo in 2005 and 2006 where his teams were 8-5 and 8-6.

He also was an assistant coach at Demopolis and Maplesville.

Cassity’s first day at Pennington will be Feb. 16, which will allow him to begin offseason conditioning and conduct spring training later this year. As part of his hiring, the board approved a $1,000 supplement to him for spring training.

He replaces Keith Garner who resigned in December after seasons of 4-7, 3-8, and 1-9.

In other business, the board acted on the recommendation of Superintendent Jim Carr and:

•approved five field trip requests.

•entered into a service agreement with Youth Advocate Inc. for the “Staying the Course” program.

•allowed J.B. Pennington and Cleveland Elementary to contract with Just For You Coach to transport students to Chattanooga for field trips. Each contract will be paid from the school’s local funds.

•allowed Cleveland High to contract with Tony Glen Morgan to provide music for the school prom on March 21. The contract will be paid from the school’s local funds.

•adopted the Alabama Work-Based Learning Policy Manual.

•entered into homebound contracts with Ben Dake (for a Hayden High student) and Robin Payant (for a Blount County Learning Center student).

•extended the homebound contract of Carnell Spradlin from Jan. 5 to Feb. 27.

•approved Kourtney Gober, a certified teacher employed by Kelly Services, to provide intervention to students at Hayden Primary three hours per day, three hours per week through April 30. Kelly Services will be paid with the school’s Title I funds.

•contracted with Kim Battles to provide nursing services for students requiring medical care during extracurricular activities. The contract runs through May 22.

•granted leaves of absence to four system employees.

Finally, the board hired Debbie Staton Graves as an intervention instructional aide at J.B Pennington. Her employment runs through the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

Present at the Feb. 2 meeting were Carr, board members Bruce McAfee, Jackie Sivley, Ken Benton, Bill Ferry, and Chris Latta, assistant superintendent Rodney Green, board secretary Karla Latham, and several visitors.