School board's actions disgraceful
I was present at the Feb. 17 school board meeting, and what I witnessed was despicable. After the honoring of Dr. Hartsell, for his years of service, and all the business was completed, a witch hunt evolved quite quickly. This began when Jeff Gray sought to amend the agenda. After the amend was granted, he started to lambaste the board chairman, without any substantiated facts. After his prepared statement was read, then three others quickly jumped on his bandwagon. All of them quickly stated that they wanted the board chairman to resign.
Let's look at this on the logical side. Does any of them have proof that the board chairman, Ronnie Abercrombie, released the details of the contract to the media, prior to the vote by the board to accept the contract? Even Dr. Hartsell relayed to me that there were several people present when the non-binding contract was signed.
It would appear that they are crying over spilled milk, and not knowing who spilled the milk. Kathy White Goodwin and Dr. Dukes said that they couldn't get in touch with Mr. Abercrombie. I find that really hard to believe. What I know for a fact is that the only person serving on this board to ever return my calls is the board chairman.
The school board showed their real colors this evening. Not one of you could stand the pressure of being in that position, or you would have sought it. Just when I was starting to think that you were going to move this school system forward and open your arms to a new superintendent, you take the opportunity to degrade, humiliate, and crucify the board chairman without one iota of proof. Funny thing is, I thought these people were educated, concerned, and had good intentions. Boy, was I ever wrong.
HJHS shows its heart in fundraiser
I have had the pleasure of living in Hartselle for the past 12 years. The last six weeks have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is indeed an exceptional town which truly lives up to its reputation of being "the city of hospitality."
This compassion for others has been demonstrated through the hearts of everyone in our community–from business leaders, teachers, parents and our youth.
After the devastation of several Asian countries by the Dec. 26 tsunami, Hartselle Junior High School set a goal of $5,000 to be donated to the American Red Cross for relief efforts.
To my astonishment, the students at HJHS raised over $7,700! They could not have achieved this phenomenal success without the support and encouragement of our community.
I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the staff and students at HJHS to the following businesses for their donations: Kroger, Bud's Convenience, Wal-Mart, Hometown Grocery, Tankersley's Gas Station, Ronnie Dukes and Pepsi Cola Co., John Buchanan and RC and Sundrop Cola, DJ Randy Putman, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, Byron Faulkner and "Boonie" Russell, and Johnny Whitley and Company.
I would like to give a special thank you to Frank Parker and the faculty and staff at HJHS. Without Mr. Parker's support and encouragement, we could not have realized our goal.
The entire staff at HJHS went above and beyond any reasonable expectations. There has been an overwhelming spirit of cooperation and self-sacrifice as demands were made on personal time to organize and work each of our fundraising events. Hartselle is a great place to live and raise children, as evidenced by this recent outpouring of compassion to people of other lands who we will never meet or see.
We teach our children about sympathy and kindness through our own actions, and I believe our town has set a wonderful example for our kids. If the future of Hartselle lies in the hands of our youth, we are in good hands.
HJHS eighth grade social studies teacher
Monument work continues
It has been a long wait, but it was worth it. The Purple Heart Memorial–we traveled to Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. two weeks ago to get the stones. I really didn't think it would take long to finish the work, but it took paperwork, several weeks of faxing, getting the letters correct and setting them, getting the correct setting of the Purple Heart emblem, sandblasting and colors. When we walked into the room where the huge emblem sat on a large table, everything came alive in its beauty. I could hardly wait to see it all put together. To see it face the morning sun rays throughout the day in its full colors of gold and purple, and again each night with the night lights shining also in its beauty as though it's alive.
Mr. Phil Edmunds, owner of the Tennessee Granite and Bronze Co., should be very proud to have Rick Gann, sales representative, and the gentlemen who have done a wonderful job of sandblasting on all of the stones. I was told that Gary Parker loved doing this kind of work and that it was an honor doing this job for the Purple Heart. Gary served his country by being in the Marines. I'm very proud that we had the Tennessee Granite and Bronze Co. do this job.
Now that we have the stones here in Alabama, we're just waiting for a break in the weather. Stone has to be removed and the new ones installed, each with holes drilled and chrome pins to hold them in place. We have just received 100 bricks purchased to be placed around the memorial, reserved for all veterans regardless of what war they served. We will also have a walk to and from the memorial for families, schools, businesses, etc.
There are blanks at the Hartselle Depot, Hartselle Enquirer, some of the veteran buildings and the VFW in Cullman. For more information, call the following: Jerry Cleek at 751-3093; Mark Cleek at 612-7546; James Shaffran at 350-7769; George Mills at 353-5491; or myself at 734-1947.
George E. Mann
The Finis J. Self Chapter, M.O.P.H. of Cullman and Morgan Counties
Retirement party was appreciated
Thank you for the retirement recognition assembly and breakfast you honored me with on Friday, Jan. 22 and Monday, Jan. 31.
The letters, cards, gifts, music, food and hugs of appreciation showing your love and support was overwhelming.
Teaching at Ryan School has to be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling opportunities of my life. I will miss teaching immensely, yet treasure the experiences forever.
Ryan School Red Devils, past and present, I love you all.
Teena Kelly Williams