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Board welcomes new assistant principal at Discovery

Madison Board of Education welcomed a new assistant principal, approved a transfer at the Central Office and accepted an anonymous donation of $50,000 at its Jan. 8 meeting.

Ryan Foy has been hired as assistant principal at Discovery Middle School. Foy has worked 12 years in education, most recently at Buckhorn High School with Madison County Schools. Previously, Foy worked for Montgomery County public schools and has an extensive background is special education.

At the Central Office, Sharon Willis has transferred from at-risk coordinator to work as federal programs coordinator. In December, Jeana Ross vacated the position to serve as Commissioner for the Department of Children’s Affairs in Gov. Robert Bentley’s cabinet.

Willis previously was principal, assistant principal and classroom teacher at Discovery Middle School.

In business actions, an anonymous donor has pledged more than $50,000 to build a two-lane, covered batting cage for baseball and softball practice at James Clemens High School.

The board rejected bids for roof replacement at West Madison Elementary School, based on recommendation of Kevin Turner with Stephen Ward & Associates. Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said the staff will need to review specifications “to come in with another bid.”

Board member Phil Schmidt said the finance committee compared November figures from 2011 and 2012. Expenses were up $1.4 million due to additional costs with new students, additional teachers and operational costs for James Clemens.

Chief school finance officer Mike Weaver said “budget amendments” will be made monthly. “In the general fund, we had a net affect of $66,000 for two half-time teachers, HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters), special education and ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide) materials,” Weaver said.

After its brief, regular meeting, the board conducted a work session on projected school growth. Fowler and director of student services Dennis James detailed a professional demographer’s report showing enrollment trends and projections for each school.

Among the demographer’s findings, current enrollment of 9,299 is predicted to increase roughly 300 students per year to reach 11,468 students in 2021-2022.

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