Cam Ward presents grant to Alabaster City Schools

By DONNAMY STEELE | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – State Sen. Cam Ward awarded Alabaster City Schools with a $40,000 grant on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Ward met with Thomson High School Principal Dr. Wesley Hester, Chief Technology Officer Anthony Kingston, Board of Education President Adam Moseley and ACS Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers at THS for the grant presentation.

The grant is meant to help the schools cover their remaining costs for security and safety upgrades, Ward said.

Vickers said the improvements would begin at THS to provide additional surveillance equipment in their parking areas.

“Senator Cam Ward has been nice enough to award us a $40,000 grant to enhance the safety features at our schools,” Vickers said. “We have received a $350,000 grant through the federal government to enhance safety features at all of our campuses as well. Senator Ward allows us to finish this project, and we really appreciate him doing that.”

Vickers said the improved security measures are much needed and appreciated by ACS, and this is not the first time Ward has been a contributor and friend to the school system.

“It’s a substantial commitment because we can do some things in our parking areas that we need surveillance on and so this is a big deal for high schools,” Vickers said. “We’re very thankful to Senator Ward. We are certainly going to miss him as he is leaving this position and taking another. He has been a great friend to public education in Alabama and a great friend to the Alabaster City Schools, and we are very thankful.”

Ward said he has watched the ACS system grow since the beginning and has enjoyed partnering with them over the years, stating that it is one of the best school systems in the state.

“I remember when Alabaster City School system first incorporated into a school system, and I can tell you looking at the changes today what I’ve seen in the last few years, it’s one of the fastest growing school systems in the state, and the reason for that is the quality of education that they provide,” Ward said. “The fact that they are already upgrading and looking at better features and better ways to provide safety on campus tells you the quality of the school system it is. I’ve loved partnering with them over the years. They’re great and I sincerely believe it’s one of the best school systems in the state.”

Kingston said THS’s resources were already fairly up-to-date before the grant, but now they will be able to expand the security coverage to the school’s parking lots and other parts of campus.

“This addition will help us finalize our completion of our security grant that we are doing for the other four locations,” Kingston said. “With the school being built in 2018, we had a lot of the resources here for security cameras and door access. With the additions that Senator Cam Ward will give us, we’ll be able to add more cameras to the parking lot areas for more security, and it will enhance things for us here on campus.”

Hester said he is grateful for the opportunity to enhance safety and security for staff, students and guests with the grant.

“It’s a tremendous blessing for our school just to be able to enhance the safety and security around our campus around our school,” Hester said. “Anything like this will greatly help us to make sure our students and our staff and all of our guests are very safe. They already are, but this is going to make them even safer, so it’s just a tremendous blessing of what this is going to be able to do for us and helping us to enhance our safety and security here at the high school.”