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Central Office staff gains one, loses one

Jeana Ross has resigned as federal programs coordinator to work in Gov. Robert Bentley’s cabinet, the Madison Board of Education heard at its Dec. 13 meeting.

Ross will serve as Commissioner for the Department of Children’s Affairs. The board commended Ross for her work in grant writing and promoting the preschool program.

John Peck, formerly on the editorial board with “The Huntsville Times,” has been hired as public relations manager, a new position for Madison City Schools. “I believe in the school system. I’m a stakeholder in it,” Peck said.

The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council recently discussed school safety. The council feels safe in their schools — safest in classrooms but least safe in hallways, director of student services Dennis James said. Crowded conditions, like ‘choke’ points in student traffic, cause hallway concerns. The council recommended in-depth instruction for steps during a Code Red.

The council also said physical bullying is not a threat in secondary schools but cyber bullying does exist. Students acknowledge that administrators respond when this bullying occurs, James said.

Sarah Bryan, a Heritage Elementary School fifth-grader, was congratulated for winning $10,000 from the GoDaddy.com Bowl Book Report Contest. HOAR Program Management assists with the contest.

Bryan’s report on “The Hunger Games” won statewide. “I already knew that I could connect to the book. When I found out I was in the Top Ten, I was amazed,” Bryan said.

In public comments, Ed Sasan announced his resignation as Special Resource Officer with the Madison Police Department. Sasan is the new director of education and training at Redstone Arsenal.

The board approved Camp Invention at West Madison Elementary School; 2012-2013 committees’ recommendations for textbooks in secondary language arts, along with reading, language and handwriting textbooks for elementary; and October 2012 financial and bank reconciliation statements.

Chief school finance officer Mike Weaver said the district has two months’ balance in the General Fund, with revenue/expenditures near eight percent, a desirable operating level.

The district is designing a ‘dashboard,’ a quick-to-read online view of high-level statistics, such as test scores and attendance figures, board member Phil Schmidt said.

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