Greenville High earns safe school award for second straight year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 2, 2006

It was a morning to celebrate at Greenville High School Friday. State Attorney General Troy King was on hand to formally present the AG's Alabama Safe Schools 2006 Award of Excellence to GHS Principal Dr. Kathy Murphy.

This is the second year in a row the local high school has received the award, given to only eight schools across the state.

A number of city, county and school officials were on hand for the presentation ceremony.

&#8220You've all heard and read about the violence and deaths in the schools over the years, in Kentucky, Colorado, TennesseeŠmost recently the shooting deaths of several Amish schoolchildren,” Murphy told her audience.

&#8220However, we are here for a happy occasion, to celebrate being a safe schoolŠthis is an awesome school.”

Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney said it was a &#8220historical” award for the campus.

&#8220This award is based on past performance. You have to continue to be vigilant, be watchful and willing to take action when it is needed. Please know how much we appreciate you,” Looney told the students and teachers assembled in the auditorium.

King announced it was &#8220good to be back” at the high school.

&#8220I'm here for the second year in a row, and that says good things about your community. It's concerned and committed to a safe learning environment.”

The attorney general pointed out Murphy's list of places where school violence had occurred was missing one important thing.

&#8220Alabama is not on that list, and there's a reason. We have good safety plans in place which are constantly being upgraded,” King said.

&#8220Your school is safe and prepared because of the leadership here. Superintendent Mike Looney and Principal Dr. Kathy Murphy are committed to your safetyŠit's not luck or good fortune, it's hard work, commitment and leadership.”

Sgt. Malcolm Owens, GHS school resource officer, was also lauded for his work in maintaining a safe environment on campus, receiving a monetary gift from the school and a hearty round of applause from the students, staff and guests.

&#8220School resource officers are one of the most important things if you want your campus to be a safe one. From what I have seen, you are prepared. More importantly, the experts who chose you say you are prepared,” King said.

The attorney general said the school earned its recognition through its excellent community involvement, mentoring efforts, and coordination with local law enforcement, including periodic drug searches.

ALFA Insurance was also recognized on stage for their partnership in the Safe Schools Program.

Following the program, Murphy proudly held up the latest trophy earned by the school to the applause of the crowd.

&#8220It's a great day for Greenville High School,” she said.

The Safe Schools Award of Excellence winners are chosen by an independent panel of law enforcement and emergency response officers, teachers, school administrators and parents.