Pelham interviews 10 candidates for city’s first school boardPublished 10:58pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013
-Jane Germek, a food service manager at Samford University who has three children attending Pelham schools, said she is a “go-getter, and said she will “look at every possibility to make this the best possible school board there is.”
Germek said students’ transitions to different schools in Pelham should be “seamless,” and said she would like to ensure Pelham students are prepared for higher education or the workforce when they graduate from high school.
Germek also said she would support more learning opportunities “outside the classroom,” and said she would like to upgrade Pelham High School rather than doing away with the school.
-Gregg Vinson works in pharmaceuticals and has lived in Pelham since 1992. He said one of his children has graduated from PHS, and one is now a freshman at the school.
Vinson said he has developed strong team-building skills over the years, and said he would like the city to “keep and retain (its) good teachers.”
“I’d like to see teachers come from Vestavia and Spain Park to Pelham instead of the other way around,” Vinson said, noting he would work quickly to upgrade the city’s school facilities. “We need to find out what programs are offered by our surrounding communities and make sure our kids have access to everything everyone else does.”
-Dr. Barbara Regan, a retired school board member and educator, said she has a grandson at Riverchase Middle School, and said she would like the school board to recruit a superintendent who “has a laser point right on the needs of Pelham.”
Regan said her past experiences on a school board taught her the importance of developing one-, three- and five-year plans for a school system, and said those plans should include upgrades to the city’s school facilities.
Regan also said she would work to initiate a “curriculum mapping” program to ensure the city’s class offerings adequately prepare students for the future, and said it is important for the school system to hire a grant writer.
-Jim Sumpter is a financial manager who has been living in Pelham since 1996, and said his child is a senior at Pelham High School now.
Through his financial background, Sumpter said he has learned the importance of balancing the school district’s goals with its monetary assets. Sumpter said he would like to establish a master plan to prioritize the district’s future goals, and said he would like to build a Pelham school “brand” to attract new residents to the city.
“I want this to be an excellent school system where we provide opportunities for kids to excel in what they excel in,” Sumpter said, noting he would support pre-engineering and pre-health classes.
-Brian Long said he has worked in construction-related fields for many years, and has lived in the city since 2002.
Long said his “number-one goal” would be to ensure “good leadership” in the city’s schools, and said he would work to recruit involvement from Pelham’s business community.
Long also said he would like to improve the technology offerings in the Pelham’s schools.
“Sometimes I feel like our kids are still on the on-ramp to get onto the information highway,” Long said.
City Council President Rick Hayes said the council likely will not appoint the school board members during its Nov. 4 meeting, but said council members would like to give the new school board “all of December to let their feet hit the ground.”