County schools earn rewards

Published 12:29 pm Monday, September 18, 2006

By Staff
Special to the standard
Principals and faculty members of three local schools were flying high Friday after receiving monetary rewards from the state Board of Education and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley Thursday in Montgomery.
Huxford, Rachel Patterson and A.C. Moore elementary schools were among 313 schools that were chosen to receive the rewards of almost $3 million for making significant improvements and student achievement.
Huxford was the leader in Escambia County with a total reward of $25,000, A.C. Moore followed with $16,500 and Rachel Patterson was given $8,500.
The school rewards - ranging from $2,500 to $46,500 for each school - came from a combination of state and federal funding - $2,467,250 from the state and $448,777 from federal funds.
Riley first proposed the financial rewards as part of his fiscal year 2007 education budget request to the Legislature.
Riley has proposed an education plan that provides $50 million over the next four years in monetary incentives to schools that demonstrate their commitment to improving student achievement. The monetary rewards will be made available to each of the 313 schools after Oct. 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Despite having to wait a couple of weeks for the actual reward, the local principals are celebrating just the same. Betty Warren, principal of Huxford Elementary, hasn't touched the ground since Thursday's meeting in Montgomery.
Huxford was chosen for the monetary reward based on the criteria of Meeting the Challenge two years in a row by meeting the Adequate Yearly Progress and also for being a Torch Bearer school.
Warren said her faculty and staff shared in her excitement as she made an announcement over the school speaker.
Unlike other monetary awards given to the schools Riley told principals that the only stipulation was that the faculty and staff have a say in how the money is used. Rachel Patterson principal and Brewton resident Susan McKenzie couldn't be happier about that.
McKenzie will be holding a faculty meeting Monday afternoon to begin the process. She was also pleased to attend the meeting with former principal Beth Drew by her side.
A.C. Moore principal David Nolan was out of town Friday, but school guidance counselor, Jean Sands who attended the meeting stated that Nolan wanted to tell his faculty the news when he returns to school Monday.
Escambia County School Board Superintendent Billy Hines attended the state board meeting with the three local school principals and representatives and is as excited as they are about the rewards.
in the past year,

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