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School board hires operations chief

Madison City Schools has a new director of operations.

Patrick Conner currently serves as chief financial officer for Tuscaloosa County Schools, one of Alabama’s largest systems. Conner is past president of Alabama School Business Officers Association.

Also at the March 8 meeting of the Madison Board of Education, Jerry Mercer with Mercer & Associates of Huntsville presented the 2011 audit report, describing Madison City Schools as a “low-risk auditee.”

“We found no reportable issues … and no incidences to require an audit,” Mercer said. “The last three years, there have been no major issues in compliance.” Accountants found “no audit reports with negative information” for federal programs.

Mercer also commented that his staff never encounters “any problem in gathering information at the local schools.”

Leigh Christian, chairman for Madison Relay for Life, encouraged continuing support from Madison schools. “We raised about $100,000 last year. More than $20,000 was raised by our schools,” Christian said. Cancer Kickers, a team at Liberty Middle School, raised more than $10,000.

Principal Robby Parker recognized the 19 National Merit Finalists at Bob Jones High School. Parker acknowledged the elementary and middle school teachers who prepared these students for high school.

“There are 42,000 high schools in America,” Parker said. “Only 57 schools in the country have more National Merit Semi-Finalists than Bob Jones.”

The board approved purchase of football equipment for James Clemens High School at $43,321.80 from Titan Team Sports, along with disposal or sale of two 1998 mini-buses.

Jana Gray, interim chief school financial officer, said the district’s general fund has approximately $19 million, which equates to 107 operating days.

Prompted by the 2011 tornado outbreak, the district’s technical staff has implemented a disaster recovery plan. The Central Office’s server room now is protected with backups completed at Mill Creek Elementary School, which has generator capability.

“Old servers have been recycled and moved off-site,” director of technology Katrina Allen.

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