Awards highlight school board meeting

Awards for school officials and students were a highlight of the Thursday, May 8 regular meeting of the Shelby County Board of Education.

Shelby County Schools were recognized by Trane for completing facility improvements that have save the school district more than $1 million in energy costs.

Also recognized were Shelby County students for Alabama Penman Awards, the Calera High Comprehensive Math Team, the Oak Mountain High Envirothon Team, Future Business Leaders of America regional winners from Thompson High and Oak Mountain High, DECA winners from Thompson High, FCCLA Star Event winner from Oak Mountain High, DECA regional winners from Oak Mountain High, DECA state winners from Oak Mountain High, DECA regional and state winners from Pelham High and TSA state conference winners from Columbiana Middle School.

According to School Superintendent Evan Major, the cost savings that earned the school system national recognition came about as the result of a cost avoidance program begun by the board seven years ago.

Major reported that as enrollment increased, the system began to look for ways to save energy.

He noted that retrofits designed and installed by Trane Corporation have resulted in a heating and cooling cost of 85 cents per square foot, which is significantly below the national average.

In addition, according to Major, Alabama Power Company has given the system a cost reduction equivalent to 22 percent on electric bills for all electric facilities.

Also, in 1999, according to Major, Wayne Lowe was hired as an energy manager by the school system to conduct energy education, monitor energy usage and visit schools during and after-school hours to make sure unneeded lights were not left on.

Jack Cornelius, Trane representative for Shelby County Schools, introduced other Trane officials, Dane Taival of St. Paul, Minn., national director of contracting development; Greg Tatro, southeast regional contracting solutions leader; and Matt Reeder, district manager for Central North Alabama.

Major was presented the Trane Pinnacle Award and Education Environment Excellence Award.

&uot;We feel extremely honored to receive a national award of this merit,&uot; Lowe said. &uot;Our cost avoidance program has taught teachers and administrators to re-think the way we use electricity in our schools.&uot;

He pointed out that all heating and air conditioning systems in the school system are controlled from the maintenance shop.

Students recognized during the board meeting include:

Alabama Penman Awards, Brittany Holsomback and Julie Stone of Columbiana Middle School and Karen Stinson of Shelby County High.

Comprehensive Math Team of Calera High: Frank Orona, Robert Horton, Gary Goggins, Katie McGlawn, Mallorey Terry and Daniel Warren.

Environthon Team of Oak Mountain High: Ashley Austin, Carlee Sanford, Andrea Smith, Dean Kanellopoulos, Brad Jones and Trey Prickett.

Future Business Leaders of America regional winners: Thompson High &045; Jeff Lucas, Matt McMyler, Andrew Searles, David Levey, Dominique Bivins, Chris Gonzales and Frank Trivett; and Oak Mountain High &045; Jonathan Bunio, Holly Bunn, Cara Caillouet, Sean Grehalva, Jacob Hardin, Mark Kelly, Justin Luquire, Holly Morgan, Daniel Rice, Allison Schauwecker, Yvonne Sims and Kathryn Switzer.

DECA winners from Thompson High: Stephanie Dooley and Danielle Marshall.

FCCLA-Star Event winner from Oak Mountain High: Megan Yancey.

DECA regional winners from Oak Mountain High: Mitchell Watts, Hong Shin, Mindy Willet, Alexia Anderson, Ashley Sellers, Jennifer Jordan, Summer Wooten, Jennifer Johnston, Arielle Gerstein and Iggy Guajardo.

DECA state winners from Oak Mountain High: Kathryn Lokey and Jennifer Jordan, Alexia Anderson.

DECA regional and state winners from Pelham High: Tamala Loftis, Stormie Speaks, Dail Abernathy, Cori Gosnell, Amanda Bibb, Chad Graves, Mark Aldridge, Brandon Pardi, Jay Roberson, Lindsey Stryker, Tip Mason, Eric Whiddon, Tara Lucas, Laura Courson, Ashley Downey, Erin Ivey, Kerri Sullivan, Chase Taylor, Melanie Douglas and April McMaster.

TSA state conference winners from Columbiana Middle School: Robert Justice, Travis Braden, Brett Mooney, Daniel Teal and Kullen Williams