Roanoke City Board of Education accepted some retirements and resignations and made some new hires during its meeting on Tuesday evening of last week.

The board accepted the following retirements:

  • Dr. Kim Hendon as assistant superintendent and director of federal programs and curriculum at the Central Office, effective June 1
  • Bronwyn Bishop, fourth-grade social studies teacher at Handley Middle School, effective June 1
  • Christy Fordham, director of Randolph-Roanoke Career Technology Center, effective June 1.

The board accepted the resignations of:

  • Eric Dye from his position as physical education teacher/coach at Knight-Enloe Elementary School, effective June 5
  • Amy Martin from her position as fourth-grade English teacher at HMS, effective May 29
  • Aleigha Daniel from her position as lead school nurse at Handley High School, effective May 28
  • James Lyons from his position as custodian at KES.

The board approved:

  • Hiring Nathan Jones in an unassigned secondary science position at HMS, effective for the 2021-2022 school year
  • Abby Kennedy as math teacher at HHS, effective for the 2021-2022 school year
  • Kellie Magby as a bus driver for Roanoke City Schools, effective for the 2021-2022 school year
  • Holli McManus as lead nurse at HHS, effective for the 2021-2022 school year.

The board approved the following contracts for administrative positions:

  • Todd Cole as principal at HHS for the period July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2024.
  • Lynn Robinson as principal at HMS for the period July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2024.
  • Tena Musick as principal at KES for the period July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2024.

Tamara Thomas and Dr. Kim Hendon represented RCS on April 22 at the Jacksonville State University job fair in search of teacher applicants. This is the first time since the COVID outbreak that the school system has gotten to attend one of these job fairs face to face. Marcum said, "I know Ms. Thomas and Dr. Hendon did a great job representing RCS."

COVID update

"With only 22 days of school remaining in the 2020-21 school year, I feel it is best to continue the procedures that we adopted at the end of the March," those were the words of Roanoke City School Superintendent Chuck Marcum at last Tuesday's school board meeting.

"We have worked too hard to provide the option of on-site instruction five days a week with presently 85 percent of our students back in school. I want to do everything we can to mitigate the virus so our students can enjoy their annual end-of-year activities like banquets and graduation." Marcum said plans are starting June 1 to make it optional for students and staff to wear masks inside of school buildings. "We will use data to make a determination on our procedures for the 2021-22 school year," he said.

The following is a list of guidelines for the remainder of the year:

  • Masks must be worn inside of buildings when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Masks are not required when students are outside of buildings.
  • Students can return to working in groups but must wear a mask if inside buildings.
  • Continue to wash hands regularly.
  • Be intentional with cleaning work areas.
  • Starting June 1, it will be optional to wear masks inside of buildings.

Superintendent Marcum recommended all Roanoke City School employees receive a $500 supplement for work performed during the 2020-2021 school year under difficult COVID-19 circumstances. All substitute teachers who worked at least 20 days during the 2020-2021 school year will receive a $100 supplement. The recommendation did not include the superintendent. The board unanimously approved the supplement.

Superintendent's report

The superintenent congratulated the 2021 Handley High School honor graduates which include: valedictorian Ohm Patel and salutatorian Cora Baldwin. Other honor graduates include: Serena Askew, Taylor Brown, Darrian Burnett-Pruitt, Caleb Burns, Asia Burton, Hayden Daniel, Kelsey East, Abby Easterwood, Oakley Evans, Rachel Fetner, Olivia Franklin, Alyssa Gosdin, Jessi Gosdin, Jalen Herren, Abigail Hill, Emma Hopper, Mekayla Hyatt, Maggie Johnson, Graham Martin, Braeson Masdon, Ian Mosley, Claudia Perry, Maison Platzek, Kayden Powell, Rachel Prestridge, Brantley Richardson,Josh Smith, Matthew Towers, Meagan Umberger and Tori Wilkinson.

The Handley Tiger Baseball team won the area championship by sweeping Munford and Cleburne County this season. The Friday before the meeting, they defeated Montevallo 3-0 and 10-5 to win their first round series. The Friday following this meeting, they traveled to Jackson to play in the second round of the state playoffs. Marcum said he is proud of the players, Coach Tyler Hall and his staff.

During the past month, senior day was observed for the HHS Softball and Baseball teams. Jesse Gosdin is the only senior for the Lady Tigers. The senior baseball players are Evan Cofield, Jake Cottle, Hayden Daniel, Allen Exum and Brantley Richardson. "I want to thank our seniors for all of their contributions to the baseball and softball programs and their parents for allowing them to participate," said the superintendent.

Congratulations to the track athletes who qualified for the state track meet in Gulf Shores. Girls: Shania Allen, Amelia Askew, Jamiya Heard, Azorria Higgins, Destiny Nolan, MaKiya Seymour, Takeira Tucker and Teanna Watts. Boys: Maurice Cameron, Jamarius Haynes, Jamarion Heath, Jameriqui Lewis, Andreus Lindsey, Montavious Meadows, T'marion Phillips, Ahmad Staples, Jordan West and Javaris Wright.

The Handley Tiger Football team has accepted an invitation to participate in the 2021 Kickoff Classic at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. They will play Guntersville High School (5A) on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m. "It is a tremendous honor for our football team to be selected to play in this event," Marcum said.

The Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program (ACAP) was administered in grades two through eight throughout Alabama over the past three weeks. Knight-Enloe Elementary School and Handley Middle School have administered these tests. Marcum is confident the students are going to do well on these state assessments. He said, "I want to thank our teachers for their hard work under very difficult conditions in preparing our students for these tests. A special thanks to Mr. Brent Meadows (KES) and Mrs. Angie Johnson (HMS) for their work as building test coordinators in helping to create great testing environments for our students."

Marcum said, "Thanks to everyone who worked to make Roanoke Project CARE a success. We had students and staff from all three schools who picked up trash and cleaned our schools and city. I want this just to be the start, not the end of our work. Please share ideas with your principal and/or me of things we could do to continue this work. I want RCS to be a partner with Mayor Jill Hicks and our city council members as they address the littering problem we have in Roanoke."

Marcum thanked everyone at HHS who helped to make the 2021 prom a success. He especially thanked the junior sponsors who devoted a lot of time on this unique prom. Staff members went above and beyond to help students enjoy this special event. He thanked students and parents for their understanding of the challenges that COVID-19 presented as they tried to provide a safe prom for students and staff. "We all will remember the 2021 HHS Prom!" Marcum said.

The HHS drama department presented You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. Marcum said, "The students did a great job! A special thanks to Mr. Steve and Mrs. Kathy Murphy for their work in preparation for this production. The COVID virus has presented them many challenges in offering drama this year, but they have successfully met the challenges."

Marcum was impressed with Caroline Brown, Alayna Calhoun and Maison Platzek as they were the guest speakers at Rotary Club on April 8. They discussed the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Conference they attended in Huntsville last month. They each did a great job!

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