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County school board has many to thank

By By ANNA M. LEE Managing Editor
Thanks and gratitude were plentiful at the Escambia County School Board's meeting Thursday, Sept. 30, as the board and superintendent Melvin "Buck" Powell strived to show appreciation for the many people who have helped the school system recover since Ivan.
Among those recognized was maintanence supervisor for the school system, Raymond Beasley.
Powell also thanked Cynthia Rodgers for her supervision of the lunchrooms and meal preparation for shelters, outlying communities and relief workers. Rodgers decided before the storm that rather than letting all the lunchroom food go to waste, it should be prepared to feed those who would need it after the storm. She said lunchroom workers cooked by flashlight on gas stoves and provided 1,200 meals for shelters on the day after Ivan hit.
Powell also recognized transportation supervisor Billy Hines for seeing that buses were stored at the bus shops before the storm to protect them from damage. Hines reported that out of 92 buses in the county, only one had damage.
Also, in the days before the storm, technology workers covered and unplugged every computer throughout the school system and backed up files, storing them in the board's vault to protect them from damage. Then those same workers got the system back up and running once Ivan settled down.
Principals and teachers were commended for teaming up to move wet books, tear out carpet and remove debris on school campuses, and board central office workers were thanked for working through that first week to ensure that all school system employees would receive their paychecks this week.
Powell thanked the many people who have served this area in the recovery effort including volunteers, law enforcement officers, the American Red Cross, city and county agencies, Alabama Power, Southern Pine, Sheriff Grover Smith, David Jennings, mayors and city councils and FEMA.
Then Powell detailed damages to each school building in the county and the board approved emergency contracts with Jones &Kirksey Roofing Contractors, ACME Roofing Company, Brantley Contractors, Mills Fence Company and McKee &Associates to repair damages resulting from the hurricane.
In other business, the board: