Elizabeth Hughes

West Elementary fifth-grader Elizabeth Hughes plays the violin for the Cullman City School Board during Tuesday's meeting.

The Cullman City School Board received a clean audit report for its 2020 finances, as well as an update on this year’s financial figures during Tuesday night’s board meeting. 

Jason Harpe, a CPA with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, presented the 2020 audit report to the board and said the accounting firm issued an unmodified opinion — which is the highest opinion the board can receive for its audit.

Cullman City Schools Chief School Financial Officer Jason Brumley also gave an update on the system’s finances for the end of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30. 

He said the system ended the year at 98 percent of the expenditures that it was budgeted for, as well as seeing 102 percent of the anticipated revenues. By spending less than planned and receiving more money than planned, the system was able to transfer an additional $1.15 million to its capital projects fund.

Those additional funds will likely be used to pay for new school buses to update the system’s fleet, which is in need of a few new buses to replace some that are getting too old, he said. 

Brumley also compared the system’s most recent year-end revenues and expenditures with years past, showing that sales tax and ad valorem tax revenues continue to increase year after year. 

In 2011, the system received $2.3 million from the city’s sales tax, and that has grown by 82 percent over the past decade to result in $4.5 million in revenue in 2021, he said. 

The county sales tax and ad valorem taxes have also seen similar growth, with an increase of $614,000 per year since the county was established in 2013 and an increase in ad valorem revenues of 36 percent over the past decade — from $4.5 million in 2012 to $6.2 million in 2021.

Expenditures for the system have also continued to grow — with a 48 percent increase from 2011’s expenditures of $21.2 million in 2011 to $31.5 million in 2021 — but that number has mainly increased right along with inflation, Brumley said. 

Brumley said the increased revenues that the system continues to see will help with the multi-million dollar projects that are currently in the works to expand Cullman City Primary School and Cullman Middle School, as well as projects on the East and West Elementary and Cullman High School. 

The system will also likely take a look at the teacher salary schedule in the spring to see if there is a possibility to increasing wages for its teachers, he said. 

Brumley said the growth of the city school system is due in large part to the continued support of the community, 

“I think we’re in a good spot,” he said. 

The board also recognized its monthly Support Personnel and Teacher of the Month, along with a Student of the Month — all from West Elementary School, which hosted Tuesday’s meeting.

LaQuita Dixon received the Support Personnel of the Month Award, and Emily Hines was named Teacher of the Month. Winners of the monthly award receive a certificate from Cullman City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff and the board, as well as a gift card provided by America’s First Credit Union. 

The board also recognized fifth-grader Elizabeth Hughes as Student of the Month, and after receiving her certificate to recognize her achievement, Elizabeth treated the board and meeting visitors to a violin performance of Handel’s Fourth Movement and Pachelbel’s Canon in D. 

In other business, the board: 

Approved the following personnel items:

Retirement:

Sharon Windham, curriculum coordinator for Cullman City Schools, effective Jan. 1.

Resignations:

Jeremy Clemmons, math teacher at Cullman High School, effective Dec. 17.

Leslie Dawson, Child Nutrition Program manager at Cullman Middle School, effective Nov. 19.

Valerie Parris, morning extended day program at East Elementary School, effective Nov. 19.

Jenna Lambert, extended day program instructional assistant at Cullman City Primary School, effective Dec. 17.

Erica Veal, special education teacher at East Elementary School, effective Dec. 22.

Leave of absence:

Maeghan Long, unpaid leave of absence from Feb. 9 to March 4.

Employments:

Laurel Waddle, 30-hour interventionist at Cullman City Primary School for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years only, beginning Nov. 17.

Brooke Olvey, full-time itinerant instructional substitute for Cullman City Schools, beginning Nov. 29 (funded through 2024 school year).

Bailey Battles, temporary Title One instructional assistant at Cullman City Primary School beginning Jan. 3 through May 26.

Bailey Battles, extended day program early morning assistant at Cullman City Primary School, beginning Nov. 15.

Vanessa Bagwell, Pre-K auxiliary teacher at Cullman City Head Start, beginning Nov. 17.

Glenda Bates, 30-hour interventionist at West Elementary School for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years only, beginning Nov. 17.

Rachel Carden, long-term substitute (to fill a leave of absence) at East Elementary School, beginning Jan. 3.

Employment contract:

Sharon Windham, part-time Student Assessment Facilitator, beginning Feb. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023.

Athletic supplement resignation:

Jeremy Clemmons, softball associate head coach, effective Nov. 6.

Athletic supplement:

Jamie Burgess, CHS ninth grade football assistant, retroactive per 2021-2022 supplement schedule.

Approved a purchase agreement/contract for 700 2nd Avenue NE property.

Approved a purchase agreement/contract for 201 Oak Avenue NE property.

Approved a contract with Behavioral Pediatric Institute of Alabama for school consultation and evaluations for Sept. 21, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022.

Approved the revised Cullman City Primary School Extended Day Program Salary Schedule.

Approved a contract with Haley Chambers to provide Early Childhood Education Services for Cullman City Head Start Pre-K classrooms (ADECE OSR grant funds).

Accepted a Grant Solutions Notice of Grant Award for Cullman City Head Start in the amount of $543,307. Balance of funds will be awarded from the Federal Grants Management Office when available.

Approved Textbook Committee members for Cullman City Primary School, East Elementary School, West Elementary School, Cullman Middle School and Cullman High School for the 2021-2022 school year.

Approved contracts with the following teachers to provide after-school tutoring beginning Nov. 17, 2021 through April 29, 2022 (not to exceed five hours per week): Cresha Bradley, Nina Jones, Kristen Lang, Linda Purkey, Jennifer Tidwell.

Approved a contract with the following teachers to provide after-school tutoring for ELA and/or math for the 2021-2022 school year (not to exceed two hours per week): Jonathan Brett Hazelrigs and Lindsay Hill.

Approved a stipend for Misty Waldrop to attend the West Elementary Leadership Team meeting on July 26.

Approved mentor agreements with the following CCS teachers to mentor new teachers for the 2021-2022 school year: Chris Quattlebaum and John Drake.

Approved the surplus/salvage of iMacs, Macbook Pros and iPads from the Technology Department (items damaged, obsolete or unusable).

Approved to surplus one 2017 Macbook Pro and one 2017 iPad Mini from the Central Office.

Approved to salvage three large styrofoam bells from the theatre department at Cullman High school.

Approved the following overnight field trips:

CHS dance team, traveling to Orlando, Florida on Feb. 17-22 for the national competition.

CHS choir, traveling to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida for in-park performances on March 25-29.

CHS dance team traveling to Nashville, Tennessee on Jan. 9 for the regional competition. 

The Cullman City School Board will next meet on Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. at East Elementary School.

Tyler Hanes can be reached at 256-734-2131 ext. 238.

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