Distance learning technology applied for teacher workday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Shelby County Schools held System Professional Day Monday at Thompson High School. But this year, the event was different than in years past. Instead of thousands of teachers attending one location, the event was broadcast live from THS to three other high schools.

Charlotte Draper, assistant Superintendent of Instruction for Shelby County Schools announced Professional Development Day would make use of distance learning technology during the Shelby County Board of Education’s regular meeting last Thursday.

She said that instead of causing traffic congestion, the event would be broadcast from THS to Chelsea, Oak Mountain and Pelham High Schools.

She credited Technology Supervisor Susan Poling and the technical staff with making the broadcast possible.

On Thursday before breaking into groups, presentations included a welcome, Teachers Make A Difference Larry Thornton & Chris Moore and Teaching With The End in Mind: Overview of Standards-Based Instruction Dr. Marla Holbrook & Dr. Cheryl Holder.

According to the program, special thanks when to Carter Syale for producing the video and special thanks went to AGS, Harcourt, McMillan/McGraw-Hill, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Houghton-Mifflin, and Scott-Foresman, & McDougal-Littel for their financial contributions.

According to presenter notes, the goal of the Oct. 25 meeting was for teachers to understand what needs to be taught with standards.

Also at last Thursday’s board meeting, Draper announced Wilsonville Elementary, Creekview Elementary, Chelsea Elementary and Helena Intermediate have been accepted as demonstration sites for the Alabama Reading Initiative.

She said, &uot;We’re real proud of these four schools. They worked real hard to be accepted.&uot;

Among other actions taken at the board’s meeting last Thursday, the board unanimously approved a resolution honoring Deidre Downs, Miss Alabama and Miss America 2005.

Downs attended public schools in Shelby County and was a 1998 graduate of Pelham High School. She graduated number one in her class and was named class Valedictorian.

While at Pelham she was also an All State Volleyball Player, playing on the 1997 State Championship team and earning the Bryant-Jordan Regional Scholarship Award.

The resolution concludes, &uot;Be it therefore resolved that the Shelby County Board of Education acknowledges the outstanding personal accomplishments of Deidre Downs as a graduate of the Shelby County School System and congratulates her for these awards and honors.&uot;

The board unanimously approved the employment of Pat Grey as principal for Chelsea High School and George Martin as assistant principal for Pelham High School. In addition the board agreed to pay Grey the daily rate of pay for acting principal at Chelsea from Oct.4-21 and a contract for Grey as principal.

According to School Superintendent Evan Major, Grey has more than 21 years experience in public education and served previously as Assistant Principal at Chelsea High. She served as a classroom teacher for 17 years.

Grey graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in math and English. She also holds a master’s degree in math from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and educational administration from the University of Alabama.

She said there is no better place in the Shelby County than the Chelsea Community with dedicated students and supportive parents.

She said, &uot;I will work hard to continue us moving in the direction we need to go.&uot;

Major said Martin, who was employed as assistant principal for Pelham High has more than 26 years in public school teaching. He was previously coordinator of the Clinical Experience and Partnership at the University of Montevallo.

Martin is a graduate of the University of West Alabama with a bachelor’s of music education degree in music. He also holds a master of science degree in education from Troy State University and in educational administration from the University of South Alabama.

&uot;I’m excited to go work with students at Pelham High School,&uot; said Martin.

He said he will do anything he can to help students in the learning process.

Martin has been married for 23 years to his wife, Virginia, and has one son, Harrison, age 11.

The board approved a contract with SC Educational Consultants to assist with teacher evaluation.

Outgoing School Board member Trey Ireland said,&uot; I support what we’re doing here&uot; with regard with help for principals with teacher evaluations.

The board also approved out of state field trips, other

personnel matters, a bid for zero radius mowers and the expulsion of a student.