Board listens to student achievements, concernsPublished 9:44pm Thursday, May 2, 2013
MADISON – Madison Board of Education saw hundreds of students at its May 2 meeting. Many received awards, while other students commented on disconnection between school and everyday life.
“It’s always one of our favorite meetings when students attend. I believe we have a record number tonight,” board president Ray White said.
Principals and sponsoring teachers recognized top-place winners in science fairs and math teams. “At our school, 160 children participated in science fair,” sponsor Beth Bero said for Horizon Elementary School. “I remember when the fair was so small that we brought all our projects to the board meeting.”
Daniel Whitt from James Clemens High School discussed “Building Bridges,” a student-led project that explored the importance of listening. This study also examined student and teachers’ ‘baggage,’ or roadblocks to achieving fulfillment and happiness.
For teacher Jane Haithcock at Liberty Middle School, this ‘baggage’ is her job security tied to test scores. “When my students enter the classroom, I first remember their test score,” Haithcock said. Teacher Ambra Johnson said her baggage was “fear of failure. As a teacher, I become self-conscious. What if I’m failing my students or my colleagues?”
“The number of students who feel like square pegs in a round hole is growing,” Whitt said. Wearing backpacks loaded with pieces of lumber, several Liberty students spoke to the board about their ‘baggage,’ such as distractions from social media and teachers not having time to relate classroom study to “real-world connection.”
Director of Operations Patrick Conner said security door installation is proceeding with crews arriving around 3 a.m. to work, hopefully to finish in one week.
Language arts textbooks were approved for second and elementary levels, along with a credit card agreement for accounts payable with First Commercial Bank.
Dr. Dee Fowler was congratulated as Alabama PTA Superintendent of the Year. The board returned White as president and elected Dr. Terry Johnson as vice president.
The board issued a resolution urging legislators to repeal the Alabama Accountability Act.