Pelham BOE approves key partnerships

The Pelham BOE hired an assistant principal for Riverchase Middle School and approved key partnerships during a July 28 meeting. (File)

The Pelham BOE hired an assistant principal for Riverchase Middle School and approved key partnerships during a July 28 meeting. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—With Aug. 7 fast approaching, the Pelham Board of Education prepared for the first day of school during a July 28 meeting, hiring an assistant principal for Riverchase Middle School and approving a key partnerships with the city of Pelham, the Developing Alabama Youth Foundation and Oakwood University.

The BOE hired Branden Vincent as the assistant principal of Riverchase Middle School. Vincent was previously a teacher/administrative assistant at Pelham High School before being appointed the assistant principal at Vincent Middle/High School in January 2014.

“We’re really excited to have him,” BOE President Rick Rhoades said in an interview after the BOE meeting.

The BOE approved a memorandum of understanding with the city of Pelham, “giving the city permission to broker our bond issue,” Rhoades explained.

Pelham recently received the highest bond credit rating of AAA from Standard and Poor’s financial services firm. By partnering with the city, the BOE will be able to use the city’s high bond credit rating to secure low rates on bonds to finance the school system’s upcoming building projects, which Pelham Finance Director Tom Seale said could save the school system “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Pelham is currently working to take out a $35 million bond issue to be paid back over a 20-year period. The bond issue will go entirely to funding the school system, Seale said.

The BOE also approved an agreement with the Developing Alabama Youth Foundation, an alternative education and clinical services program in Alabaster, reserving a total of nine slots for Pelham City Schools students. Four spots are reserved for court mandated enrollment in the DAY Foundation, and five spots are reserved for students who may benefit from the specialized instruction at the foundation, Rhoades explained.

“It is $6,000 per slot, but that is something we needed to have,” Rhoades said of the agreement with the DAY Foundation.

Finally, the BOE entered into a partnership with Oakwood University, allowing their culinary arts students enrolled in the Dietetic Internship Program to gain hands-on experience in the Pelham City Schools cafeterias.

“They’re learning things from the ground up,” Rhoades said, adding the partnership is “also a way to get programs started. We may partner with them to expand our culinary program.”