Elmore County school board increases superintendent’s salary

The school board has decided the next superintedent will receive an increased salary of $138,000 yearly, which is in line with other similar school systems across Alabama.

(File / The Herald)

When the next superintendent of the Elmore County Board of Education takes over in January 2021, he or she will receive an increased salary of $138,000 yearly, which is in line with other similar school systems across Alabama.

The board took action on the increase at Monday night’s meeting. It had not reviewed the superintendent’s pay, which is currently $114,089, according to the school system, since 2007.

“We want to entice qualified individuals to run for this position,” superintendent Richard Dennis said.

Board member David Jones added, “This is something we have to do.”

Board member Joey Holley said the Elmore County system, which is one of the few remaining school systems in the state to elect its superintendent, is behind other similar school systems with competitive salaries for their superintendents. With a window to approve any changes until the end of March, Holley recommended the superintendent’s salary increase to $138,000 annually.

While the board approved the increase, Dennis and board chair Michael Morgan stressed it won’t take effect until January 2021.

The board took a moment to recognize Frank Hysmith, who works for the school system’s transportation department. Hysmith, who Dennis said has been recognized as the state’s top mechanic three out of the last four years, was recently selected by the Alabama Department of Education to serve on the Alabama School Bus Specifications Committee. In a state with the country’s toughest specifications for school buses, the board agreed Hysmith would be an excellent official on the committee. For his dedication and service, the board presented Hysmith with a special certificate during the meeting and those in attendance gave him a standing ovation.

In other action at the meeting:

• Elmore County Technical Center’s Dr. Jimmy Hull said a recent employer showcase day was a success with 16 companies from around the region providing students with valuable information about potential career paths. He also cited a major success story from the event; a student who came to the tech center through the credit recovery program and began working on a plumbing certification left the employer showcase day with a full-time job with a local plumbing company.

• A proposed policy revision regarding grievances brought before the board was presented. Under the revision, all information presented to the board prior to a hearing would still be given all board members. The board members could then decide if a hearing is required.

• A motion to approve a change to the policies and procedures for cheerleading and dance was approved. Dennis said the primary focus of the policy change is to relax restrictions on tryouts, especially for children of military parents who may have transferred into the system after tryout dates.

• The board heard from Lt. Col. Christina Karvwnaris of the United States Air Force, who, along with Dennis, spoke about a special summit Maxwell Air Force Base held with school officials from systems in and around the Montgomery area. The purpose of the summit was to help avoid issues of students with military parents not having credits, including dual enrollment credits, not transferring when military families are reassigned to their next location.

• Chief financial officer Jason Mann said things are looking good financially for the system. He listed some of the things the legislature may look at in its upcoming session, including a pay increase for teachers and increased funding to provide for school nurses. Mann said the building project at Stanhope Elmore is on schedule for how it had been budgeted, although there was a delay in the mustang sculpture to be put on display. Lastly, he said the school system has been approached by an individual interested in donating approximately 50 acres of land in the Redland community to the school board.

• It was announced state officials are working to correct a minor typographical error on the ballot for the upcoming tax millage referendum.

• The board approved the employment of Kelly Gordon as a bus driver in Holtville, Rodney Mitchell as a bus driver in Millbrook and Melanie Parr as a fourth-grade teacher. The board also approved the transfers of Tracy Davis, Delane Hyde, Michael Thompson and Lisa Thornton, the resignations of Shaune Allen, Koris Barker, Garrett Burgess, Angela Perdue and Tammy Smallwood, the reassignment of Renee Bingham and nine leaves of absence.

• Dennis said he is trying to schedule a work session of the school board on March 7. He also said the board is looking into the possibility of adding an additional position for the Millbrook alternative program.

The next regular meeting of the Elmore County Board of Education will be Monday, March 18. The meeting will be held at Stanhope Elmore High School and will begin at 4:30 p.m.