CCBOE unanimously approves Barton as next president, Rodgers as vice president
Published 11:00 am Saturday, November 11, 2023
The Covington County Board of Education named its next president and vice president and also approved four personnel matters at a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Dr. James Barton was unanimously voted as the next board president. Jimmy Rodgers was unanimously selected as the upcoming vice president. Barton and Rodgers will serve for two years in their new roles beginning Dec. 1.
“I think it’s important that we build on the successes we have had while Mr. Bailey has been president. As Mr. Bailey stated tonight, the biggest unresolved issues moving forward is the SSUT. That’s going to have to be resolved with the Covington County Commission. We’re hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the commission soon, so we can get this issue resolved,” Barton said.
Rodgers feels it is an honor to serve on the board and looks forward to his tenure as the next vice president.
“I consider the confidence my fellow board members have in me to be a really strong asset. We have a really good board and work well together. I am honored to be selected as our next vice president and will work with Dr. Barton and other members closely on a lot of things to continue the success we have had in our school system,” Rodgers said.
Covington County Schools has seen many accomplishments in the last two years. The arts program has expanded with two full-time teachers funded by 16th section funds, a new auditorium is nearing completion at Straughn, and there have been multiple building upgrades and/or new construction on all school campuses.
A mental health counselor program was developed, and a mental health professional was employed. Schools have reopened and recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. An out-of-district enrollment policy was put into place. Enrollment has increased throughout the system, and pay has improved for support staff. Safety enhancements such as upgrades to cameras and intercoms were added at each school.
In addition, an agreement was formed with Sheriff Blake Turman and the Covington County Commission to place two new resource officers in schools. The board also had a successful completion of state monitoring.
Outgoing president Jeff Bailey referred to the last two years as a busy time for the board.
“My biggest regret is that during the last two years, we as a board have not been able to come to some resolution of the division of Alabama’s simplified sellers use tax (SSUT). During the last 24 months, the commission has received slightly more than 2 million dollars and has averaged nearly $93,000 per month in collections. I have met with the commission chairman Mr. (Greg) White and some of the commissioners to try to persuade them to divide this tax as they would any other sales tax. However, I have failed in this endeavor. Hopefully, the next board president Dr. Barton will be more successful. As we end the last meeting of my term as chairman, I would like to say thank you to each board member, Mr. Driver, and all of the staff for your help and encouragement. I feel good about where we are headed as a board and school system, and that is because of you all, not me. The support our schools have is from the communities who support our schools,” Bailey said.
CCS Superintendent Shannon Driver thanked Bailey for his tenure as the board president.
“I appreciate the work you have done and the support and leadership you have given with the board. It’s been a pleasure working with you for the last two years in this capacity. I have called you about things before, and we have talked things out. Your communication with the board is like it’s supposed to be, and I appreciate that,” Driver said.
During the meeting the board approved the following personnel matters:
- Tammy Martin as bus driver at Red Level School effective Nov. 17
- Shane Thompson as bus driver at Fleeta Junior High School effective immediately, pending verification of new or existing background reviews
- Charles David Bobo Jr. as bus mechanic at the central office effective immediately, pending verification of new or existing background reviews
- Randall Coxwell as special needs bus driver at RLS effective immediately, pending verification of new or existing background reviews
The board did not set a date for the next meeting.