Alabaster school board interviews under way

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Candidates for the upcoming five-member Alabaster board of education said they would like to see changes ranging from more frequent student progress reports to updated classroom technology during a Jan. 26 round of interviews for the positions.

Jan. 26 was the second round of interviews the Alabaster City Council’s Education Committee held for the upcoming school board. The first round was held Jan. 24, and the committee will hold other interview sessions on Jan. 28 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and on Feb. 4 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

During each session, committee will interview several of the 32 candidates who applied for the school board, which will oversee the formation of the city’s first municipal school district. All interview sessions are 30 minutes long, are being held at the Alabaster Senior Center and are open to the public.

During the Jan. 26 interview session, Education Committee members Scott Brakefield, Sophie Martin and Rick Walters interviewed candidates Jennifer Smith, Gayla Schofield, Linda Church, Sarah Haase and Doug Disdale.

All of the candidates said they would be comfortable “serving in the spotlight” on a public board, and said they would be interested in helping the Alabaster school district even if not appointed to the school board.

The candidates shared their plans for the school board, and shared several projects they said would benefit the city’s schools.

Smith said she would like to see an “informal score card” sent to parents frequently to update them on their children’s performance at school, and Church said the Alabaster school district should look at creating a central facility for special-needs students.

“I’m not saying we should have another LNLC (Linda Nolen Learning Center), but you have to look at ways to target your resources so you can use your special ed dollars and teachers to the best of your ability,” Church said.