Lane Hill

Cullman Middle School Principal Lane Hill's contract will not be renewed for next year after a vote by the Cullman City School Board Tuesday night.

A motion for the non-renewal of his contract passed in a 3-2 vote, with board members Chris Branham, Joey Orr and Lee Powell voting in favor of the motion and board members Suzanne Harbin and Jason Neal voting against.

A large group of Cullman Middle School teachers attended the meeting in support of Hill, and eight grade teacher Kim Canaday spoke to the board before the board voted.

She said Cullman Middle School has provided a safe environment that is conducive for learning while under Hill's leadership, and she cited the school's performance in the statewide report card, in which Cullman Middle School received the highest score in the city school system with a 96.

"I think that there's no question that we're making a difference, and we're doing that, I think, in large part to our leadership in Mr. Hill," she said.

I was a teacher/counselor at Cullman Middle School until retirement in 2012. Lane Hill is one of the best administrators I worked with over a 30-year career. I am appalled that the present BOE has decided CMS students will be better educated without him.

Canaday said Hill has shown support to both the teachers and the students of the school, and the number of teachers who came to the meeting also showed that Hill had their support.

"I think that truly his priority is the academic success of every student at our school, and I hope that is considered," she said. "I guess I feel like if academics and support of the teachers are not two of the most important things, then what should be considered?"

Hill, who will remain as principal until the end of the school year, spoke to the teachers to thank them for their support, and asked them to keep up their hard work until the end of the year.

"Tomorrow, it's a new day at Cullman Middle School," he said. "I want you to make this the best end of the school year that we've ever had, and I want us to have the best report card, bury everyone else with our report card at the end of the school year. Let's work and let's get it done." 

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