Cordova counselor honored for service to students

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 2/21/20

A Cordova High School counselor is among a select group of counselors in the United States who have been honored for their service to students.

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Cordova counselor honored for service to students

Posted

A Cordova High School counselor is among a select group of counselors in the United States who have been honored for their service to students.

Counselor Shannon Freeman of Cordova High is a 2020 College Board Counselor Recognition Program recipient and was nominated by her colleagues to receive the honor. The College Board Counselor Recognition Program acknowledges middle and high school counselors each year who "go the extra mile to expand opportunity for students — and who are seeing results," according to the College Board website.    

The College Board is a nonprofit organization that serves to help students achieve the dream of going to college if they wish.

"She was nominated for all of her hard work and dedication for going above and beyond for her students at Cordova High School," Walker County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joel Hagood said at a meeting of the board of education on Feb. 13, where Freeman was recognized for her accomplishment.

Freeman is one of only four counselors in Alabama to be recognized by the College Board for 2020. Alabama counselors Amanda Yearwood of West Point High School, Leslie Franklin of W.P. Davidson High School and Alice Jackson of Selma High School were also College Board Counselor Recognition Program recipients.  

Around 500 counselors in total were recognized in the United States by College Board this year.

All nominated counselors have their profile highlighted on the College Board website and receive a Counselor Recognition Program lapel pin. Supervisors and school/district leaders are also notified of the recipient's accomplishment.

Last week was Counselor Appreciation Week, and Hagood took a moment to mark the occasion. 

"We appreciate all of our counselors and their hard work, professionalism and dedication they've shown our students," he said.

Counselors for the Walker County school system include Freeman, Christie Waldon of Bankhead Middle, Deb Jacks of Carbon Hill High, Tina McGough of Carbon Hill Jr. High, Amy Lockhart of Cordova Elementary, Patricia Tuggle of Curry Elementary, Kristi Cain of Curry High, Jessica Fletcher of Curry Middle, Carrie Herron of Dora High, Amanda Shubert of Lupton Jr. High, Sarah Chambers of Oakman Middle, Dana Gray of Oakman High, Ansley Greene of Parrish Elementary, Ashleigh Lockhart of Sumiton Middle, Laura Lee Barrett of Sumiton Elementary, Diane Myrick of Valley Jr. High, Jan Hambric of the Walker County Center of Technology and Shawna McCuller, the career coach for Walker County.  

In other minutes from the meeting, the school board:

• approved a Child Nutrition Program stipend. 

Child Nutrition Program Director Janell Aultman told school board members that lunchroom managers in the school system are now members of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), which allows them the opportunity to participate in the SNA Certificate Program to further their education.

Aultman said in order for the lunchroom members to maintain their certification, they must complete continuing education hours each year.

"I'm asking for recognition for them and for a stipend for them at the end of each year if they maintain that certification," Aultman said. "If a person is willing and desiring to go above and beyond what is required of them for our children, I want to recognize them for that."

Lunchroom managers will get the following stipends once annually for keeping SNA certification: $250 for level one certification; $500 for level two; $750 for level three; and $1,000 for level four.

• introduced the school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. The calendar has not been officially approved, however.

A preview of the calendar shows that students would have Nov. 23-27 off for Thanksgiving break; Dec. 21-Jan. 4 for Christmas and New Year's; and March 22-26 for spring break. Other off days for students are included in the calendar as well.

School board member Todd Vick asked for a short discussion on a state lawmaker's recent proposal regarding school calendars. The proposed legislation would mandate that all schools have summer break from Memorial Day through Labor Day and delay school release each day until 5:30 p.m.

It's an idea that many boards of education, including Walker County, are not supporting. 

"So far, into a week or so of the legislative session, all of the representatives and senators are saying there's no legislation," Walker County BOE Chairman Brad Ingle said. "So far, there's not anything getting any traction." 

"I really don't think it will," Hagood responded.

School board members ultimately decided to amend the agenda and adopt a resolution to oppose the lawmaker's proposed, shortened school calendar, in favor of school calendars staying in the hands of each school system.

The resolution adoption unanimously passed.

• approved volunteer coaches Garrett Merchant (Sumiton Middle, softball), Thomas Trotter (Cordova, softball), Bailey Thomason (Dora, football), Gregory Cameron (Dora, wrestling/football), Chris Gay (Curry High, baseball), Evan Miller (Curry High, baseball) and  Kirk Perrin (Sumiton Middle, softball).