Decatur school board hires PR person for $75k, two assistant principals resign

·4 min read

Jun. 10—A TV news anchor will be paid $75,000 per year to fill a new public relations position at Decatur City Schools, the board decided Tuesday, in a personnel agenda that also included the resignations of two assistant principals and the hiring of a human relations coordinator.

Also, Shellie W. Burgreen, a Decatur Middle social studies teacher and coach, retired effective May 28, after 26 years with Decatur City Schools.

Elizabeth Gentle, an anchor and the weekend news manager at WAFF-48, was hired as director of communications, effective July 1. Gentle's annual salary, based on the salary schedule approved last month, is $75,032, at step 11 on the salary schedule.

Deshonna Shantell Ford was hired as human resources coordinator, pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval. The salary schedule for the human resources coordinator ranges from $61,434 to $96,934, based on years of experience and education degrees.

Superintendent Michael Douglas said the communications director position is "something we've been talking about" for some time, and Gentle's "experience won the day."

Douglas said her experience in terms of communicating with the public will help in promoting the school district and sharing information about the school system with parents.

The board last month approved job descriptions and salary schedules for the two new positions.

Calandra Leann Sales at Austin Junior High and Jacob Lee Hembree at Austin Middle resigned their assistant principal positions effective June 30.

Other personnel actions approved Tuesday:

Certified personnel

Resignations

Austin Middle: Chandler Grace Binkowski, social studies teacher, May 28; Jacob Michael Handley, social studies teacher, May 28; Cheryl Nicole Metzger, choral teacher, May 28.

Ben Davis: Hannah Kathryn Berry Collier, first grade teacher, May 28.

Chestnut Grove: Melody Marie Hagood, second grade teacher, May 28.

Employment

Austin High: Rachel Strasburger, English Language Arts teacher (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Banks-Caddell: Caleb Alan Finn, physical education teacher.

Decatur City: William Tyler Mitchell, middle school physical ed. teacher/coach (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Decatur High: Meaghan Elizabeth Gray, secondary teacher/head softball coach (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Decatur Middle: Major Houston, CTE teacher, (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Frances Nungester: Jordan Lockett, K-5 teacher (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Special Services: Diandra Mari Otero, elementary ESL teacher (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

West Decatur: Toborsha Jerae Sweeney, guidance counselor (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Transfers

Austin Middle: Jelisa Lanell Thompson, from science teacher at Austin Middle to fifth grade teacher at Frances Nungester, effective 2021-2022 school year.

Short-term contracts

Austin High: Cynthia Lee Tapscott and Susan Howie Haddock, teachers.

Austin Middle-Summer School: Shelia Joy Burks, Angela Reed Moses and Joshua Ryan Marshall, teachers.

Pre-K Summer Learning: Melissa Shaw, pre-K teacher.

Special Services: Faith Ferguson Heidecker, testing; Isabella Blankenship Coffell, homebound teacher.

Summer Learning Academy: Porshia N. Lockhart, teacher; Sara Elizabeth Vest Lacy, substitute teacher; Katrina Rena Alexander, teacher; Jessica Merion Letson, ESL; Christian Danielle Watkins, interventionist; Sara K. Smith, substitute teacher; Roseanna Lea Morgan, substitute teacher; Ashton Grace Hill, teacher; Christy Mitchell Anders, substitute teacher; Connie Ann Murray, teacher; Melissa Faye Putman, teacher; Lauren Ashley Tucker, teacher; Cheryl Sandlin, substitute teacher; Sarah Malinowski, substitute teacher.

Non-certified personnel

Resignations

Austin High: Nattlie Renee Davis, custodian, May 24; Derrick Jerome Bell, HS maintenance supervisor, June 30.

Decatur High: Catherine M. Ramirez, aide, May 27.

Special Services Center: Shaide Olivia McGuyer, child nutrition secretary/bookkeeper.

Employment

Frances Nungester: Anavelia Hernandez, custodian, (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Transportation; Norma Elizabeth Adams, bus driver (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Short-term contracts

Austin Junior: LaToya N. Brown, homeless/parenting liaison.

Austin Middle: Cynthia Marie Rodriguez, clerical aide.

Austinville: Joyce Butler Gill, custodian.

Pre-K Summer Learning: Teresa Henderson Gholston, pre-K auxiliary teacher.

Special Services Center: Tinica Jeanell Laster, CNP worker; Kayley Hartselle Wozniak, CNP worker.

Summer Learning Academy: Janet Robinson, paraprofessional.

Summer School Special Services, all pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval: Sarah Edman, paraprofessional; Yonna Watkins, paraprofessional; Micha Lashay Bolden, paraprofessional technology; Ethan Tyler Berkowitz, technology summer employee.

Transportation: Danny L. Melson, bus driver, Tina Marie Turner, bus driver.

Woodmeade: Andrea Robertson, office aide.

Leave of Absence

Classified

Chestnut Grove: Eric S. Maresh, requests FMLA.

West Decatur: Pamela K. Haynes, request to extend FMLA, May 31-July 31.

marian.accardi@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_MAccardi.

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