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Photo by Katie Turpen.
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Photo by Katie Turpen.
During the November luncheon, the Chamber of Commerce honored the 2014-2015 Hoover City Schools Employee of the Year and Superintendent Andy Craig gave the state of the school system address. Cadence Bank sponsored the luncheon.
The Employee of the Year Award started in 1996 and focuses on the administrative and support personnel throughout the school system. Teachers have their own state-wide recognition program in the spring, and thus are not included in this program.
Human resource analyst Dena Fore was named the 2014-2015 Employee of the Year. Fore has been with Hoover City Schools nine years. Prior to human resources, Fore worked in Student Services as district registrar and prior to that, secretary/registrar at Green Valley Elementary School.
Other outstanding employee nominees were Brian Fancher, Bobbie Fancher and Stevie Yanko.
"I stand here with profound gratitude and am privileged to work with phenomenal people," said Craig. "The success of the organization is rooted in the community."
Following the awards presentation, Craig gave the state of the school system address. Craig was named superintendent in 2007. He holds an accounting degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and worked as a certified public accountant before coming to Hoover City Schools as assistant superintendent of finance in 2001.
Craig said he was living in Decatur, Ala. at the time the application for assistant superintendent of finance came across his desk. He was originally reluctant about applying for the job and remained reluctant during the interview process. However, he said he took the job as a leap of faith.
"Hoover had such a great reputation and is such a great system for so many reasons," said Craig. "It's been a rewarding 13 years."
Craig went on to discuss the difficult times the school has faced while he was superintendent. He said the economic downtown was a disruption and that funding for education has declined while the system has simultaneously experienced rapid enrollment growth.
However, Craig remains optimistic about the future of the school system. He said the system is investing heavily in technology to create a rich learning environment and that very soon, every child in third through twelfth grade will have a learning device.
"We are managing our deficit very intentionally," said Craig. "This school system is very resilient and we are in the position to attract the very best out there."
The next Chamber luncheon will be Thursday, Dec. 18. To attend, please make your reservations no later than Monday, Dec. 15 by calling 988-5672, or emailing Lisa Dunbar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Networking begins at 11:15 a.m., with the meeting starting at noon. The luncheon is $20.00, or $22.00 for anyone without prior reservations, payable at the door. Hoover Country Club is located at 3140 Club Drive.