New Board members sworn in for school system

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2006

There were many new faces at the regular meeting of the Crenshaw County Board of Education Monday night as Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue officially swore in three new board members.

Ronald Rhodes was sworn in as the new school board member for District One after defeating incumbent William Roper in a run-off election that eventually ended in a domino pick-up to decide the winner. Rhodes' family was on hand for the swearing-in ceremony.

Steve Sanders defeated incumbent Britt Richardson for the District Three seat. Sanders' family attended the ceremony as well, with his children holding the Bible while watching their father take the oath of office.

Bertha H. Jones was sworn in after running unopposed for the District Five board seat. She replaced board member Jannie L. Day. Jones' family was also on hand for the special occasion.

After the new board was in place, Board Member Rhodes nominated W. B. Smith, Jr., as the new chairman of the Crenshaw County Board of Education. The nomination was unanimously approved.

&#8220I appreciate the board's confidence in me,” Smith said. &#8220I'm glad to see that we have so much support in our school systemŠAs long as we are trying to agree on how to improve our schools, then we'll be doing our jobs.”

Smith has served on the Board of Education for eight years.

Board Member Jones nominated Steve Sanders as the new vice-chairman for the board. The nomination passed unanimously.

Board member Troy Hudson was voted as the Alabama Association of School Boards' delegate for Crenshaw County.

With the recent passage of Statewide Amendment Number Two, the Crenshaw County School System will now receive extra funds from the 10-mill property tax increase.

According to Schools' Superintendent Kathi Wallace, the school system is required by law to keep a balance of at least one month's worth of operating expenses for the entire

system in reserve.

&#8220In 2003, we had less than a half of a month's operating balance on hand,” Wallace said. &#8220Now, we have two and a half months of operating funds on hand, according to the state's formulaŠwe need to applaud our former school board for that.”

Wallace explained that in 2003, in Crenshaw County, one mill was valued at $72,000, while its value in the last fiscal year was nearly $96,000.

&#8220The passage of Amendment Two was a big deal for us in Crenshaw County because now we will get to keep nearly $200,000 more in the system of our local funds instead of having to funnel in our sales taxes to make up the difference.”