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Board of Education
Hoover Board of Education members congratulate teacher Minnette Wiggins for being Alabama Elementary Teacher of the Year Alternate Teacher of the Year.
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Board of Education
Former councilman Jody Patterson voices concern on the public participation policy at Hoover City Board of Education meetings.
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Board of Education
Trace Crossings Elementary School teacher Minnette Wiggins, left, is recognized for being selected as Alabama Elementary Teacher of the Year Alternate Teacher of the Year.
The Hoover City Board of Education discussed the matter of superintendent evaluations at Monday’s meeting.
Superintendent Kathy Murphy was selected as superintendent on April 30, and Board President Derrick Murphy asked board member Earl Cooper to work with the superintendent on a system of evaluation.
“I think the best way our kids can win is if the board, Dr. [Kathy] Murphy and the system really work together and come up with a strategy, a long term plan … to weigh in on how well we’re performing,” he said.
Cooper said surveys come along with issues, such as who is participating or not participating in the survey based on the time the survey is issued. For example, Cooper said, someone could be upset with the superintendent on the day the survey is sent out and that would negatively influence their survey.
“It’s just a constant evaluative process,” Cooper said. “… I would suggest using the evaluative process not as a stick, but to highlight and reinforce the great things she is doing.”
Cooper suggested continuous reevaluation of standards and priorities to allot for change in the community. Superintendent Murphy said she would work to pull together an advisory board to discuss standards and progress.
Derrick Murphy also brought up the matter of public participation at the start of the meeting. He said public participation would be allowed following items on the agenda, after he asks board members if they have questions, rather than lumped together at the start of the meeting.
President Murphy also asked the public to present their points of discussion before the board meeting so that board members would have a chance to research the topic and discuss it at the meeting. He said this will not limit public discussion.
“Now, are we taking away any opportunity for people to speak? No,” Derrick Murphy said. “You’re going to have times when folks are going to want to speak.”
Derrick Murphy also suggested going through the “proper channels.”
“I would not want someone to go strictly to my boss without giving me the opportunity to handle that,” he said. “So in the event that we have issues or concern, let’s make sure we are handling them through the right channels.”
One resident expressed concern over not having enough information on the agenda, suggesting work sessions to foster discussion. Derrick Murphy said in situations where there is more information to include, such as with bids the Board is considering, there will be discussion among board members and then he will ask for public comment.
Former Hoover councilman Jody Patterson said he didn’t agree with the change in public participation. He said the emphasis of protocol was too focused on hierarchy.
“My thoughts are that anybody at any time should be able to say anything they want to say,” Patterson said.
Cooper said the board’s meetings are designed to be a business function and need structure of a sort. Derrick Murphy said he hopes the change in process will add to discussion, not limit it.
“This process is not to hurt at all. In fact, I would think this is a strengthening process,” Derrick Murphy said. “It is an opportunity for us to get information out to our stakeholders. We want this to be a meaningful process to get information out, not to take anything away.”
In other news, the Board:
- Recognized Trace Crossing Elementary School teacher Minnette Wiggins for being chosen as Alabama Elementary teacher of the year and alternate teacher of the year.
- Recognized outstanding students from Hoover High School and Spain Park High School for outstanding participation in the national HOSA Future Health Professionals Conference.
- Recognized Spain Park High School student Derek Williams for being a top 10 finalist in the physical therapy category at the 2015 HOSA National Conference.
- Approved the personnel report for new hires and employment changes.
- Accepted a bid from Forestwood Farm Produce Company at the cost of $1.9 million.
- Accepted a bid from Barber’s Dairy for milk at a cost of $429,240. The Board noted this bid was $43,760 higher than another company’s bid, but that alternative did not meet sodium content specifications.
- Bluff Park resident Dan Fulton said the Board of Education should consider more options for the sale of Berry High School campus, rather than a $9 million offer from the city.
- Discussed the success of the virtual school program, which now has two virtual teachers and 270 enrolled students. The program is set to expand over the next five years.
- Announced whole board training with the Alabama Association of School Boards for a session on financial health.
The next Board of Education meeting is Aug. 10 at 5:30 p.m.