Asbestos removal will be done soon at Knight-Enloe Elementary School but Superintendent Chuck Marcum stressed parents should not be concerned. It is all on the outside of the school.

He said he knows people will be concerned when they see the workers wearing white haz-mat suits but it is a low-grade asbestos and the workers will just slide out the panels on the outside of the building and replace them.

The board approved the low bid of $3,920 for the removal from Ark Builders. Members also approved the $48,642 low bid from Jennings Interiors for the replacement of the materials.

Marcum attributed the wide difference between the top three bids for replacement (high bid $102,000) and the much lower bids due to some companies just wanting to keep their employees working. It is a sign of the times, he said.

In his financial report the superintendent said the numbers are looking better this month than they have in awhile. The bulk of the system's property tax proceeds came in in January, he said.

The baseball project is still a top priority but the funding is an issue and will be for several years, he said. When the project is completed it will help all the programs, he said, including parking for other sports. Work will have to be completed in stages as money is available, he said, and may include one or two soccer fields.

A drawing by architect Walter McKee's firm illustrated a baseball field, soccer field and parking on the back side of the present sports complex, on the old Cotney property.

Among the good news items Marcum mentioned was that Tierra Watkins, eighth grader at Handley Middle School, won the county spelling bee and is representing Handley Middle School in the state spelling bee.

He said Dr. David Crouse made a presentation on Roanoke's present and planned technology initiatives to a group of principals in Huntsville and Montgomery. He added it makes him proud Crouse is being recognized around the state for the outstanding job he does here.

On a similar note, he said the University of Alabama Support Center has selected faculty member Steve Murphy as a peer leader and mentor of the new ACCESS or distant learning class teachers. He is recognized as being one of the best ACCESS instructors in the state, Marcum said.

Personnel actions

The board voted to approve family and medical leave for Angela VanBibber from Feb. 11 to May 6.

€ The board accepted Chandice Potts' resignation from her position as reading coach at HHS effective Feb. 23. In her resignation letter she said her years at HHS as a student and faculty member have been some of the best times of her life. Due to her health she is resigning but says she intends to volunteer her services in language and reading graduation exam remediation and where else she can be useful. She thanked the administration at HHS, Marcum and the school board and the entire Roanoke community for their support through trying times.

€ The board hired Ronnie Cosper as full time custodian at HMS effective Feb. 24.

€ Coaching reassignments include having Coach Keith Hanner assist with the baseball program for a $1,800 supplement; having Sanford Watson assist with the track program for a $1,250 supplement and removing Shenan Motley as assistant HMS baseball coach.

€ The board added Amanda Edmondson, Whitney Hall and Betty King to the substitute teacher list and Tim Whaley to the substitute bus driver list.

€ The board approved an excess weather day of May 28 if one is needed.

Math winners

Marcum said he was proud of how Handley High School Comprehensive and Algebra II math teams did in the third annual Auburn Math-o-thon Feb. 6.

Both teams swept Division II competition, winning first place in team competitions and ciphering competitions and winning first place in the School Bowl. Josie Thrasher and Patrice Green placed first and second respectively in the Algebra II individual competition. Joy Barber, Ebony Alford and Alex Rainwater took first, second and third individually in the comprehensive level. Algebra II team members were Josie Thrasher, Patrice Green, Latrice Green, Ashley Cook and Doug Tucker. Comprehensive team members were Joy Barber, Rebecca Brown, Kaitie Carden, Alex Rainwater, Ana Velazquez, Ebony Alford, Rakedra Billingsley, Courtland Gates and Nyesha Jones.

In an update on the tutoring program that HHS student volunteers conduct from 7:50 a.m. to 8:55 a.m., Marcum said these students are making a real difference. Some students were struggling with certain math concepts with the lowest test grade being 20 and the highest being 72. Retested after six weeks of tutoring they found some students jumped from grades of 40 to 80. It is possible they may garner a teacher out of the 10 students who volunteer with the tutoring program, he said.

Donna Roberts took some of her art students to the state capitol on Feb. 11. Each of those students had submitted art work that was displayed as part of the state art competition. Rep. Richard Laird met with the students, arranged for them to have a guided tour of the capitol and treated them to lunch and then took them to meet Gov. Bob Riley.

Peyton Overton, a third grade student, has been diagnosed with leukemia and is in Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Marcum said. Reports are that he is being a brave young man and "we are proud of him. Please keep Peyton and his family in your thoughts and prayers," he added.

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