WEDOWEE - While a U.S. District Judge last week lifted the consent decree that hung over Randolph County Schools, Superintendent John Jacobs said that by no means ends the fair practices and lessons the past 25 years has taught the school system.

According to a press release from the board, "In December 1994, Randolph County Board of Education entered into a court-supervised consent decree that outlined the steps the school district would have to take in order to discharge its desegregation obligations as set forth in the Lee v. Macon County Board of Education case of 1967. For the last 25 years, the Randolph County school district has earnestly pursued the requirements of this decree, and on Tuesday, June 22, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson granted the district's motion for unitary status.

"While the declaration of unitary status declared the Randolph County school district to be unitary, dissolved all outstanding orders and injunctions and dismissed the litigation as to defendants Randolph County Board of Education, its member and the county superintendent of education, the board wants to confirm their commitment to continuing non-discriminatory practices and policies - including those they developed in collaboration with the Intercultural Development Research Association, the private plaintiffs and board attorneys, the Department of Justice and other equity agencies.

"Since 1994, many individuals have worked extremely hard in their efforts to achieve unitary status, and the board offers their sincere gratitude for their efforts. In particular, they acknowledge the diligent effort of the District Employment Committee and local school committee members and all who have assisted in the efforts for personnel and hiring. Without their intense dedication, this goal would not have been met. To all of the stakeholders (employees, students, parents, community members, board members) past, present and future, the board thanks you for your support, and they promise continued practices to ensure the district remains unitary."

For the past 25 years, the board made monthly reports of items such as hiring efforts, along with comprehensive annual reports. Every year they met via conference call with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., the board's attorney and the plaintiffs' attorney.

Jacobs said, "We will develop a process. We'll keep the committees in place for things that have been successful. We will strive for consistency across the school system."

New RRCTC director, other personnel items

Logan Cofield was approved as director of Randolph-Roanoke Career Technology Center, effective July 1. Cofield replaces Christy Fordham, who recently retired. His hiring leaves an opening for principal at Wedowee Elementary School.

The board approved three-year contracts for the following principals:

  • Lori Carlisle of Wadley High School.
  • Allan Robertson of Wedowee Middle School.
  • Chad Kendrick of Rock Mills Junior High School.

The board also approved:

  • Hayley Williams as pre-K teacher at Wadley.
  • The resignation of Hannah Ferrell, special education teacher at Rock Mills.
  • The transfer of Maricile Adcock from Randolph County High School teacher and district psychometrist to Woodland High School TEAMS math teacher.
  • The transfer of Amy Nixon, teacher at Woodland High, to alternative learning center teacher at RRCTC.
  • The transfer of Sunday Lovvorn, RCHS virtual teacher, to sixth-grade English-language arts teacher at WMS.
  • The transfer request of Montana Higgenbotham from elementary teacher at WMS to elementary teacher at Rock Mills.
  • Sylvester Parker as a substitute teacher and a substitute for support personnel.

Teacher Excellence & Accountability for Math & Science (TEAMS) is a program to attract math, science and computer science teachers in grades 6-12 and keep them in field with better pay through a supplement.

The board approved the TEAMS one-year preliminary contract for:

  • Jonathan Farr, science teacher at Wadley.
  • Hayley Hutchinson, science teacher at Wadley.
  • Chris Agee, science teacher at RCHS.
  • Jacob Hicks, science teacher at RCHS.
  • Amy Smith, math teacher at RCHS.
  • Julie Vingers, seventh- and eighth-grade math and science teacher at Rock Mills.
  • Maricile Adcock, math teacher at Woodland High.
  • Hannah Womack, science teacher at RCHS.

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