Shelby Academy plans for future

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shelby Academy Headmaster Steve Zaslofsky often thumbs through a scrapbook in his office to get a feel for the golden years of the school.

The time included high enrollment, academic excellence and athletic achievement, Zaslofksy said, and that’s what he wants to get back to.

“We’ve had too low of a visibility level,” Zaslofsky said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us, but not only are we not closing, we have a plan for the future.”

School administrators introduced the plan during a meeting with parents March 5. The proposal calls for restructuring the board, hiring a development firm to set up new fundraising opportunities, increasing enrollment and student diversity, and creating an academic booster club.

Annette Walters’s son Aron is an eight–grader at the school. She thinks the changes could make a positive difference.

“We were just praying and crossing our fingers that the school wouldn’t close,” Walters said. “I think this new plan gives the school a chance to rebuild. The new board members will give us fresh ideas and bring more to the table.”

Zaslofsky said administrators hope to bring in 40 more students by the school’s 40th anniversary in two years. They plan to add 25 new students by August. Recruiting those new faces would put the school’s enrollment at around 165.

“No matter how enrollment goes, our commitment is to low teacher and student ratio,” Zaslofsky said.

Zaslofsky said he believes the school gained a reputation in the past of not focusing on academics. Now, the school plans to create an academic booster club, which would raise money for the sole purpose of providing scholarships to students, Zaslofsky said.

“We want to reach out to the community and make a great education affordable,” Zaslofsky said. “We want to go out into the neighborhood and encourage kids to come here.”

New board members include Ken Flowers, a retired general manager of Military Service Company and an EBSCO

Trustee; Shane Schroeder, the vice–president of Central State Bank; Glynn Durrett, general contractor for Rustic Homes Inc.; Bob Enoch, a land site developer; Dr. Michael Seamon, Christian Family counselor; and Herman Lehman, city clerk for the city of Montevallo.