CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Editorials

October 31, 2012

Message from the Superintendent Dr. Jan Irons Harris

Cullman City Schools (CCS) - a good news story!

CULLMAN — Dear Friend,

The 2011-2012 Annual Report is here!  It will be sent home with our students in the next few days.  At this time, you may view it online at http://tinyurl.com/CCS-2011-2012AnnualReport

I am so pleased to share the news with you regarding our progress.  It's been another stellar year for Cullman City Schools (CCS)! We are proud and thankful to deliver a good news story.  Isn't it exciting that Bloomberg/Businessweek.com selected Cullman as the Best Place to Raise Kids in Alabama? Read about it at http://tinyurl.com/cullmanbestplacetoraisekids 

CCS enjoys strong community support as evidenced by this year's passage of a new county-wide half-cent sales tax earmarked for education.  Appreciation is extended to Cullman County Superintendent Billy Coleman for his leadership in this important effort.  CCS will receive 22% of this new half-cent sales tax (based on student enrollment), and it will be used for much needed capital improvements.  Plans for a new and improved Cullman High School are in progress.  CCS, one of Alabama's 14 school districts to have a three month reserve, is financially strong.  We attribute this declaration to the leadership of the City Council and Mayor (past and present) who established the half-cent sales tax years ago.  Additionally, funds entrusted to us are managed well by Chief School Finance Officer Russell Raney, the Board of Education and administrators.

In 2011-2012, CCS served as one of four National Educational Technology Site Visits by the National School Boards Association.  CCS received a $100K Appalachian Regional Commission Grant for technology.  Cullman City Primary School received Alabama's International Reading Association's Exemplary Reading Program Award while East Elementary took 2nd place.  Cullman Middle School was one of nine schools in Alabama to be named a Council of Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) Banner School. Cullman High School was awarded the prestigious A+ College Ready Grant.  Our Comprehensive, Algebra II and Geometry Math Teams all claimed State Championships along with the CHS Cheerleaders, and Tennis Players Allison Howell, Hannah Cornelius, McKenzie Bussman and Kelsie Morgan.  The Cullman Middle School Math Team earned eleven 1st place trophies during the school year.  Blue Ribbon Elementary Schools East and West sent students to Space Camp with West starting its first-ever 5K Pathway Run to help defray costs.

The CCS Board of Education, President Steven Sides, Vice-President Suzanne Harbin, and Members Kim Addison, Brenda Howell and Jason Neal, is one of seven boards to approve academic goals for our students after completing the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) Lighthouse Committee work.  Also, the Board earned the AASB President's Award for two consecutive years for its commitment to professional learning. 

CCS offers a total educational experience for our students in academics, athletics and the arts.  In this year's report, read about the first-ever movie created by our theatre department, the state award-winning video created by CHS Media Class, musical productions that took place in our schools, and superior ratings for band and choral.  Chamber Beautification Awards were presented to all of our schools and central office, validating the exemplary pride demonstrated by our faculty, staff and students.  Capture the highlights of our stellar athletic programs and the phenomenal accomplishments of star athletes like Keegan Thompson.   Read about role model students such as K.J. Jones, an Alabama Public Television Young Hero, and learn about their philanthropic efforts as evidenced by their giving of money, food, and time through clubs, and individual efforts. 

Celebrate our high standards of excellence while reading about our students' academic achievements that surpass state and national averages.  This year, our students ranked 2nd on Alabama's high-stakes (ARMT+) tests!  The Class of 2012 earned $6,552,587 in scholarships.  The Cullman community has been the recipient of more than 19,100 hours of volunteer efforts by our students since our Community Service Seal Program began in 2007.  In this innovative program, students are invited to volunteer 100 hours during their high school years.

I respectfully submit this annual report, a historical artifact for the 2011-2012 school year, while acknowledging that it continues to be my great honor to serve as your superintendent.

With warmest regards,

Jan Harris

 

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