(MADISON RECORD PHOTO)
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Archived Story

Attorney speaks for assistant principal, Fowler lauded at board meeting

Published 9:05pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

MADISON – Fourth of July firecrackers exploded last week, but Madison Board of Education saw a different type of fireworks at its July 11 meeting.

Huntsville attorney Robert Lockwood asked the board to reject Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler’s recommendation to transfer Dr. Wendy Ricci as assistant principal at Heritage Elementary School to work as a second-grade teacher.

Lockwood cited portions of Ricci’s annual evaluation and read email snippets from numerous teachers who praised Ricci. He claimed that 50 teacher signatures, representing more than 80 percent of the faculty, document the teachers’ desire for Ricci to stay.

Lockwood also questioned the practice of a principal choosing his or her assistant principal. “No policy exists for this procedure,” Lockwood said. “If it isn’t a matter of performance or not what’s been done in the past, what is the issue?”

Dr. Lydia Davenport retired as Heritage principal in May. Dr. Georgina Nelson is the school’s current principal.

The board approved all of the superintendent’s recommended personnel actions.

In his own evaluation, Fowler earned stellar accolades from board members. The board voted to award $10,000 that it sets aside relative to goal attainment by the superintendent, as written in his contract.

Board member Ranae Bartlett commented that, one year ago, Fowler was dealing with a “devastating” crash of the district’s computer network, opening a new high school under budget and on schedule, BRAC funding and legislative changes. “I don’t see how you could have had a better year,” Bartlett said.

“Dr. Fowler’s current contract ends June 30, 2014, and (he and I) talked about extending it to June 20, 2016,” board president Ray White said. White wants board attorney Woody Sanderson to proceed with a draft of Fowler’s updated contract.

Fowler told the board, “I want to work very hard to live up to your evaluation.”

The board approved several purchases: cafeteria ovens, Horizon Elementary and Liberty Middle schools, Mobile Fixture & Equipment Co., $52,545.47; ovens, Bob Jones High School, Sam Tell and Son Inc., $88,699.24; mobile end-zone bleachers, Bob Jones, Century Industries, $72,228; network cabling, CVRS Telecommunication Inc., $890; and photocopiers, Berney Office Solutions.

Board attorney Woody Sanderson explained a “capital outlay pool warrant” for BRAC funds. “It’s like the note you sign when you take a loan out on your house,” Sanderson said. Madison City Schools will receive $27.8 million in BRAC money. The district will repay (approximately) $13,242,000. BRAC money for all of Alabama totals $119,085,000.

Elementary teachers Wendy Tibbs, Beth Bero and Debra Weaver discussed Camp Invention, a nationally recognized summer program for science and math exercises.

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