Pelham Board of Education appoints four more

Pelham Board of Education member Angie Hester, right, presented former Pelham City Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford, left, with a token of appreciation during a June 16 Board of Education meeting. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Pelham Board of Education member Angie Hester, right, presented former Pelham City Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford, left, with a token of appreciation during a June 16 Board of Education meeting. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Less than two weeks after approving a separation agreement with the Shelby County School System, the Pelham Board of Education continued to move forward, making four key administrative appointments to the Pelham City School System during a June 16 meeting.

The BOE hired Jim Toney as director of operations for the new school system, taking the place of Dr. Jason Yohn who was appointed as principal of Pelham High School during the June 16 meeting.

Yohn was hired as the director of operations by the BOE during a May 12 meeting. Previously, Yohn served as principal at Smith’s Station High School in Lee County.

The BOE approved Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield’s recommendation to hire Dr. Elisabeth Davis as director of curriculum instruction.

“There were numerous, well-qualified applicants (for the position),” Coefield said, noting Davis’s past experience, including time with the Shelby County School System, gave her the “greatest knowledge and experience” for the job.

The BOE also hired Dr. John Prestridge as assistant principal of Pelham High School. Prestridge served as an assistant principal of Pinson Valley High School in Jefferson County prior to coming to Pelham.

“You are certainly a distinguished group for sure,” BOE president Rick Rhoades said of the four administrative staff hires. “We’re excited about what you bring to the table and what you can do for our young people.”

During the meeting, the BOE also bid farewell to Interim Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford and educational consultant Dr. Suzanne Freeman, presenting them with thank you gifts for their months of dedication and service to the newly formed school system.

“Tim and Suzanne, we really want to thank you,” Rhoades said. “At a time when people needed to stand in the gap, you stood there strong for us.”

Alford and Freeman had been working closely with the BOE since they were hired during a January 27 meeting.

“It’s been a great opportunity, it’s been a lot of fun,” Freeman said of her time with the Pelham City School System. “Part of my heart will always be with the Panthers.”

Alford echoed Freeman’s sentiments, adding, “This school district’s ultimate success will come with those day-to-day, moment-to-moment interactions between teachers and students. I look forward to sitting back and seeing how great this school system will become.”