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Pike County BOE honors fast-acting bus driver

The Pike County Board of Education honored bus driver Martina Sasser at its Monday meeting for her quick actions that possibly saved serious injuries to students on her bus.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, showed a video clip from the bus camera that showed a pickup truck veering into the bus lane and  the bounding and jarring of the bus as it ran off the highway onto the shoulder. The screams of the students could be heard.

“That’s as frightening as it can get,” Bazzell said and praised Sassser for her efforts to steer the bus onto the shoulder of the road and then ride it out until she could bring the bus to a safe stop.

“Her actions ensured the safety of the students and prevented injuries and possibly saved lives,” Bazzell said.

The driver of the white Ford 150 pickup didn’t stop and has yet to be identified. Anyone with information about the driver of the vehicle is asked to call the Pike County Sheriff’s Department.

Bazzell also said the Pike County Board of Education’s “Report to Education Stakeholders” will be sent home for parents to view on Thursday. All students will receive the report and copies will also be available at the Pike County Economic Development Corp., the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and other public locations.”

In new business, the board:

•Awarded bid for gasoline and fuel to Russell Petroleum.

•Approved request for Rosalyn Pollard, Rebecca Brooks, Chris Saffold, LaTonyia Foster and Kathryn Dennis to be teachers for Camp Brundidge at Pike County Elementary School.

•Approved request for Child Nutrition Program to provide breakfast and lunch as part of the seamless summer feeding program at Pike County Elementary School. Virginia Rodgers and Sarah Toney will work for this program.    

•Approved request for Julie Simmons to attend the 2019 CTE Director’s Conference, April 16-21, 2019 in Perdido Beach.  Expenses to be paid with Perkins Funding. 

•Approved request for six 10th grade students from GHS and PCHS to participate in a 6-day deployment with the Ambition Program via the National Flight Academy, June 2- June 7, 2019 at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola  Registration fees to be paid with General Funds.  All other expenses to be paid by students and parents.   

•Approved request for four 10th grade Art Academy students to participate in a “Study Abroad” via Troy University.  Troy University will pay the $1,000.  General funds to pay balance of trip after fund raising attempt by the students, roughly $10,000.  Also requesting that the Board pay expenses for one chaperone, Jeff McClure approximately $3,225. The other chaperone, Abbey will pay her own expenses.

•Approved request for Daniel Reeves to attend the AETC Conference, June 12-14, 2019 in Mobile, AL.  Expenses paid with Title II Funds.

•Approved request for approximately 20 students and two chaperones to attend the Science and Engineering Day, April 26, 2019 at Six Flags Over Georgia.   Parents and students to cover expenses.  Group will be transported with a City of Troy school bus. 

•Approved request for GHS Baseball team to attend the Auburn University Baseball Camp, June 10-13, 2019, in Auburn.  Expenses to be paid by players and parents.  Will travel on a Pike County School bus.

•Approved request for Tracey Arnold to attend the Education in the Arts, June 10-14, 2019 in Montgomery.  Expenses paid with Title I Funds.

•Approved request Brundidge Head Start to use a bus and bus driver for a Pre-K bus trip, April 30, 2019, to Ft Rucker.  Expenses to be paid by Brundidge Head Start.

•Approved request for Stephanie Synder and Daniel Reeves to attend the PowerSchool University Conference, July 7-11 in Atlanta. Registration fees to be paid with General Funds.  Travels Expenses to be paid with Title II Funds.

•Approved request for PCHS Gear Up students to travel to A Gear UP Alabama Minicamp, May 15 – May 16, 2018, in Birmingham. Expenses to be paid by Gear Up.

•Approved request for Jessica Tatum, Keisha Mills, Lynne Darby, Sharon Sullivan, Joseph Boswell and Angie Thomas to attend the Empower Energy Education Workshop, June 2-5, 2019 in Destin at no expense to the Board.

•Approved request for Melinda Defee, Tammy Goss and Heather Minton to attend and present at the SREB”s 33rd Annual High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference, July 9-13, in Baltimore.  Travel expenses will be paid with Title I funds.  All other expenses paid by Southern Regional Education Board.

•Approved request for PCHS JROTC Cadets and two instructors to attend the 1st Cycle for the JROTC Junior Cadet Leadership Camp, June 3-7, 2019 in Huntsville. Expenses to be paid with JROTC Funds.

•Approved request for PCHS JROTC Cadets to attend the Ranger Graduation, April 26, 2019 in Ft. Benning, GA.  Expenses to be paid with JROTC funds.

•Approved request for Wanda Corley to attend the Teaching of Writing Conference, June 24-27, 2019 in Destin. Expenses paid with Title I Funds.

In personnel action:

•Accepted retirement resignation of Ellen Turner, Bus Driver.  Effective May 31, 2019.   

•Accepted retirement resignation of Mary Adams, Secretary, Banks.  Effective May 31, 2019.

•Accepted retirement resignation of Ruth Qualls, SPED Teacher, GHS.  Effective May 31, 2019.

•Accepted retirement resignation of Julie Simmons, CTE Director.  Effective July 1, 2019.

•Accepted retirement resignation of Joyce Osunde, SPED Teacher, GHS.  Effective May 31, 201.

•Accepted retirement resignation of Eddie Bailey, Janitor, PCES.  Effective May 31, 2019.

•Accepted retirement resignation of Martha Dykes, Instructional Aide, Banks.  Effective May 31, 2019.

•Accepted resignation of Susan Rogers, Auxiliary Pre-K Teacher, GES.  Effective May 31, 2019.

•Accepted resignation of Lance Johnson, Dir. of Finance Academy.  Effective May 24, 2019.

•Accepted resignation of James Oliver, Band Director, PCHS.  Effective June 1, 2019.

•Accepted retirement resignation of Ana Belle Lee, Counselor, GHS.  Effective October 1, 2019.