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Pike County Schools receive tech grant

The Pike County Board of Education applauded the awarding of a $160,000 technology grant by the Alabama Department of Education at its Monday meeting and regretfully accepted the resignation of Dr. Kenneth Bynum, principal of Pike County Elementary School, effective at the end of the school year.

The grant was awarded through the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program which is designed to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in elementary and secondary schools, said Stephanie Snyder, who wrote the grant.

Under the EETT program, the U.S. Department of Education provides grants to educational agencies on the basis of their proportionate share of funding under Part A of Title I.

Snyder said the grant funds will be used to target English classes at Pike County and Goshen high schools.

“The goal will be to increase the writing scores of our students through the use of technology,” she said. “Nine classrooms in grades seven through 12 will have net books which are mini-laptops. These laptops will be used to implement their writing skills through in-class training and by coordinating writing assignments with other classes.”

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said it was with regret that he recommended that the board accept the resignation of Bynum.

“When Mrs. Carter (Donnella) moved to the central office, there was some concern as to whether we could continue to move forward with the positive things that she had implemented at Pike County Elementary School,” Bazzell said. “But, under Dr. Bynum’s leadership, we have been able to do so. We are appreciative of all that he has done to continue to move Pike County Elementary School forward.”

Bynum expressed appreciation to Bazzell and to the board for its support.

“I thank the board for the support that I needed to be successful,” he said.

“It has been a joy and I will miss Pike County Elementary School.”

The board worked from a short agenda that included the approval of a resolution in support of Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7 and recommendations from the systems textbook committee for the adoption of career and technical education, health education, physical education and technology books.

The board also approved the 2010-2011 school calendar, which included a later spring break.

“Because there was some interruption of testing this year, it was requested that spring break be later in the year,” Bazzell said. “Dr. Felton-Smith (superintendent of Troy City Schools) had similar requests and concurred.”

The board gave its approval for Dr. Griffin to attend the CLAS Convention in Mobile in June and Brook Terry to attend the School Nutrition Association’s National Conference in Dallas in July.

In personnel action, the board accepted the resignations of Douglas Larkin, effective March 26; Anthony Zeb Ellison, effective May 28; and Olivia Snyder, July 1.

Catastrophic medical leave was approved for Beverly Chance from April 2 until May 3.

Olivia Snyder was approved as part-time bookkeeper at Goshen Elementary School.