Coosa Valley Academy earns school safety award

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange presents Coosa Valley Academy Headmaster Pamela Lovelady with an award for the safety measures at Coosa Valley Academy on April 21. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange presents Coosa Valley Academy Headmaster Pamela Lovelady with an award for the safety measures at Coosa Valley Academy on April 21. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HARPERSVILLE—Coosa Valley Academy recently received recognition from the state attorney general for the school’s safety measures and procedures. Attorney General Luther Strange presented the school with the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative 2015 Award of Excellence at an assembly on April 21.

Coosa Valley Academy was chosen from hundreds of applicants across the state to receive the school safety award.

“There’s hundreds and hundreds of schools across this state, and they all have to apply for this award,” Strange said. “We only pick the best.”

With the help of Harpersville Police Chief Jimmy Macon, the school bolstered its security measures to ensure children are safe at all times.

The school is monitored by surveillance cameras, doors and windows are always locked, security key pads are located at entrances and exits, the Harpersville Police Department has increased its presence at the school and students exercise the buddy system at all times.

“(Macon) came in and immediately started looking at our security policies and improving them,” Coosa Valley Academy Headmaster Pamela Lovelady said.

Public safety officials have also visited the school to run programs and presentations, including a bi-annual anti-bullying program led by Macon and a presentation from the St. Clair County District Attorney, Lovelady said.

“We have a wonderful and tremendous amount of community support at our school,” Lovelady said.

Student, faculty and staff safety is a top priority at the school, Coosa Valley Academy Board of Directors Chairman and former Shelby County EMA Director Don Green said.

“We try to be proactive in everything,” Green said. “We didn’t do this to get the award, all these initiatives are already in place.”

In addition to state recognition, Lovelady said students have noticed and appreciate the school’s safety measures.

In a recent school-wide survey, Lovelady said all students “agreed they fell totally safe and enjoy the (presence of) the chief and his officers.”