Cullman City Schools recognized two educators as teachers of the year at Monday’s board meeting.

Jane Neal and Paige Raney were chosen by faculty as the best teachers in the school system. Neal teaches at West Elementary School; Raney teaches at Cullman Middle School.

Cullman City Schools Superintendent Jan Harris said both were “master teachers.”

“We are proud to have both of them in our school system,” Harris said.

Earlier this year, Neal was named citizenship teacher of the year in Alabama by Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“I just feel real honored to be teaching this long and receive this award,” Neal said. “It’s one of those jobs where it’s good to get up and go to work in the morning.”

The board approved a course in forensic science for Cullman High School for the 2006-2007 school year. Principal Lane Hill said the new class will replace a course in botany/zoology, and he expects a lot of interest from students.

“It’s going to include biology, chemistry and physics principles,” Hill said.

In other business, the board:

‰ Gave permission for the Cullman Middle School math team to travel to Norcross, Ga., March 10-11 for the Greater Atlanta Christian School math tournament.

‰ Approved new policies for the Head Start program on community partnerships, program governance, and child health and safety.

‰ Gave permission to contract with Joseph Murphy, a professor at Vanderbilt University, to speak at a session of the Aspiring Administrators Academy. His fee will be split between the city and county school systems, which share the AAA program.

‰ Gave permission to seek bids on projectors for East Elementary, replacement doors for the old gymnasium at Cullman Middle, and network switches and wireless equipment.

‰ Hired Erin Johnson, extended day program aide at Cullman City Primary; Shawn Schiehl, fifth grade teacher at East Elementary; and Vanessa Rakestraw, second grade teacher at West Elementary. Rakestraw currently works as an instructional assistant at West Elementary and Cullman Middle; she will resign those positions before accepting the new job.

‰ Accepted the resignation of Geraldine Smith, child nutrition program worker at Cullman Middle.

‰ Approved leaves of absence for Verna Hale, guidance counselor at Cullman Middle, March 20-23; and Carla Feehan, system-wide elementary music teacher, for the 2006-2007 school year.

Before adjourning, the board went into a closed executive session to discuss the acquisition of property, an allowed exception to the state’s open meetings law. No action was taken after the closed session, board president Mark Bussman said.

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