DOUBLE SPRINGS - The 2020-2021 school year for Winston County Schools has been unique, to say the least.
Not only has the system faced - as all other systems in the state have - the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also lost Dana Baker, the first teacher countywide to die from complications of the deadly virus.
As this school year rapidly comes to a close, several personnel issues were handled by the board, including the retirement of a long-time teacher as well as several transfers, in order to have teachers ready for hopefully an optimistic 2021-2022 school year.
The school board, during their meeting Wednesday, May 19, at the Winston County High School library, approved the retirement of Glenda Hodge, 30-year teacher at Double Springs Middle School, effective June 1.
Catastrophic leave was approved for WCHS media specialist Paula Harris effective May 27.
Several transfers of teachers were approved, including Nakia Wakefield and Gina Dodd from Double Springs Elementary School to Double Springs Middle School;
Payten Hayes from Meek Elementary to Addison Elementary; Morgan Bell from DSES to MES; Jessie Woods from Lynn High School to Meek High School and Bridgette Dollar from Addison Elementary to Addison High School.
At a recent board meeting, the retirement of Rhonda Butler at AHS was approved effective June 1, as well as the hire of Michael Harper as a teacher at Lynn High School for the 2021-22 school year.
“We have several people who have retired who have been contracting in various (roles) who have seen fit to enjoy life after working,” noted Winston County Schools Superintendent Greg Pendley.
“They didn’t want to leave our system. They just wanted a change of venue. That is going to be good for those personnel who have been transferred to a different location.”
Some of these transfers were to move the educators closer to their residences, while some teachers were seeking a change in grade level, Pendley explained.
Pendley commended Hodge on her 30-plus years of service.
“She’s ready to move to a different stage in her life. As with any retired person, we wish her the best of luck in her new-found freedom,” Pendley pointed out.
The board planned to fill the remaining teaching positions resulting from the transfers at a board meeting Tuesday morning, May 25, at the board office in Double Springs.
Concerning the upcoming school year, Pendley noted that, as with life in general, the future is uncertain.
“It’s not what happens to you in life. It’s how you deal with what happens to you in life,” Pendley noted. “I can’t commend the board, our faculty, administration and all of our people enough in how they have picked up the slack and been positive, even in times of tragedy.”
Among regular board business, a public works project to place a roof at the Winston County Transportation Department was approved at $33,595.
The following inventory items were approved for public sale: a Ford tractor and a BetterBuilt trailer.
The purchase of a Kubota tractor with a bucket, backhoe, box blade, cutter and pallet forks attachments was approved at $42,155.10.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.