Poole retiring as FDA head

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2005

Fort Dale Academy has seen many students come and go, but the one thing that has remained consistent is the figure sitting at the helm of the FDA board of directors. Cleve Poole has held the title of chairman for 14 years.

&uot;It’s just time to (leave),&uot; said Poole.

But, at the end of this May, when the Eagles graduate their class of 2005, Poole will graduate with them.

&uot;During my tenure the school has grown from 325 students to 550 students,&uot; said Poole in a press release from Fort Dale Academy. &uot;We’ve more than doubled the physical plant, doubled the budget, added teachers and additional courses. The school has excelled academically as well as athletically. More importantly, we’ve graduated more than 2005 students in that time.&uot;

&uot;I personally appreciate Cleve’s leadership,&uot; said David Brantley, Headmaster of Fort Dale. &uot;He’s been the board chair for the duration I’ve been here. We’ve worked well together, he’s been supportive while at the same time every decision he’s been involved with has been in the best interest of the student and Fort Dale. I will always be appreciative to Cleve for the excellent working relationship that we’ve established. I think that as a school and as a part of the Fort Dale Family we owe him a great deal of gratitude for all that he has done to make this school grow and be more successful.&uot;

Poole, who will preside over the graduation ceremony, will present his son Edward with a diploma from the academy. Edward was in Kindergarten when Poole took the role of Board chair from Ed McFerrin.

&uot;I’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving Fort Dale in this capacity and it’s been a great tenure,&uot; said Poole. &uot;I’ve experienced the school as both chairman and as a parent. But it’s time to let someone with new ideas and renewed energy take the reins.&uot;

That new person is Sharon Paulk. Paulk is the first female to be selected as Chairperson of the board.

Paulk is a veteran educator and currently serves as Assistant Professor and Department Chairperson of Mathematics at Faulkner University.

&uot;It is such an honor and privilege to be given the opportunity to serve in this capacity,&uot; said Paulk. &uot;There is nothing more important in today’s society than providing an education for our children that is both academically sound and environmentally safe. Education has always been a major part of my life and a work that is ever dear to me. Cleve had done an incredible job for so many years maintaining a solid ground for Fort Dale Academy during times of tremendous growth. I am both humbled and honored to be chosen to serve. It is indeed a blessing to be a part of the Fort Dale Family.&uot;

Paulk brings with her seven years experience as a board member as well as having served as the board’s secretary for the past five.

&uot;I have had the opportunity to work closely with Sharon as both a parent and as a board member,&uot; said Brantley. &uot;She is an excellent educator and is very knowledgeable in her field. She has always shown excellent judgment and common sense in her decision-making. I look forward to working with her in this new capacity.&uot;

Paulk will become the fifth chairperson in Fort Dale history. She will follow in the footsteps of Elisha Poole, who was recently inducted into the Alabama Independent School Association Hall of Fame and was one of the founders of Fort Dale/South Butler Academy. Poole was seceded by Dr. Vernon Stabler Jr. From there Ed McFerrin then Poole and more recently Paulk.

As for Poole though, he is proud of his accomplishments as Fort Dale’s Chairman of the Board.

&uot;My mantra throughout my tenure has been ‘I’m pleased, but not satisfied’,&uot; said Poole. &uot;I believe that without exception, ever change made has been positive and has made the school better and stronger. I could not point to any one accomplishment as being more important than any other, but will instead point to the graduates of Fort Dale and the contribution that they continue to make in the world around them.&uot;

Paulk will officially take over as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors on June 1, 2005.