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Diploma changes prove beneficial

By By Lisa Tindell
With little discussion and a unanimous decision by members of the Escambia County School Board, nine county students will have the opportunity to graduate high school with their peers.
Hines and other members of the school board approved a recommendation to use the credit-based endorsement of the Alabama High School Diploma.
The Alabama Department of Education approved changes in requirements for receiving the traditional high school diploma under current regulations recently. Each school system was allowed to implement changes at their discretion.
Currently the Escambia County School board offers four types of diplomas including the Alabama High School Diploma, the AHSD with academic endorsement; an occupational diploma and a Special Education certificate.
Other diplomas deemed reasonable by the Alabama State Department of Education are also recognized.
Under the diploma change implemented by the local board, students who have earned enough credits to graduate and have passed reading, math and one additional area of the Alabama Graduation Exam will be allowed to graduate.
Prior to the changes, high school seniors were required to pass all five areas of the graduation exam before being allowed to graduate with their peers.
In other business, school board members
Leave of Absence: Sherry Lucas, bus driver, Atmore bus shop, effective April 1; Leah Blackburn, teacher at Huxford Elementary School, under the Family Medical Leave Act, effective May 5; Tony McAroy, custodian at Escambia County High School effective May 5 through June 5; Resignations: Tony Boutwell, mechanic at Atmore Bus Shop, effective May 30; Tammy Bell, first grade teacher at Rachel Patterson Elementary, effective May 23; Steve Lambert, girls basketball coach at W.S. Neal High School, effective 2008-2009 school year; Emily Simmons, lead teacher for 21st Century Community Learning Center Program at Pollard-McCall Junior High School, effective May 30 and her position as teacher at the same school, effective May 23; Jonathan Rasberry, teacher at A.C. Moore Elementary School, effective May 23; Retirement: Sharon Couch, sixth grade teacher at W.S. Neal Middle School, effective June 1; Transfer: Retha Hoomes, six-hour lunchroom worker at W.S. Neal Elementary School to six-hour lunchroom worker at Flomaton High School effective next school year; Laura Bailey, six-hour lunchroom worker at Escambia County High School to six-hour lunchroom worker at Flomaton High School, effective next school year; Jessica James, second grade teacher at W.S. Neal Elementary School to third grade teacher at the school, effective next school year; Employment: Leslie Ann Blackwood, English teacher at Pollard-McCall Junior High School effective Aug. 1, replacing Carolyn Jackson; Ashley Fore, office aide, W.S. Neal Elementary School, effective next school year, replacing Mary Jean Goolsby; Employment change: Ann Stephens, assistant principal at Escambia County High School to Elementary/Title I Supervisor at Atmore Central office, effective next school year, replacing Beth Drew; Leigh Ann Rowland, teacher at Rachel Patterson Elementary School to media specialist at the same school, effective Aug. 1, replacing Dianne Rose; Kathy Steadham, six-hour to seven-hour lunchroom worker at Flomaton High School, effective next school year; Temporary Employment: Heather Johnson at Huxford Elementary School effective May 5 through May 23 to replace Leah Blackburn while on maternity live; Ricky Powell, bus driver at Atmore Bus Shop, effective April 1, replacing Sherry Lucas until her return from leave of absence; Iva Burkett, bus driver for Smart Links Summer program with Atmore bus shop, effective June 2; Eloise Copeland, bus driver for Smart Links Summer program with Atmore bus shop, effective June 2; Shelia Sager, bus driver with Title 1 Summer School program for Atmore Bus Shop, effective June 2; Pat Rolin, bus driver with Title 1 Summer School program for Atmore Bus Shop, effective June 2; Earl Overstreet, bus driver for Title 1 Jump Start Program with Atmore Bus Shop, effective June 2; Nanci Kent, bus driver for At-Risk summer program with Atmore Bus Shop, effective June 2; Ricky Powell, bus driver for Atmore YMCA summer program at Atmore Bus Shop, effective June 2; Robert Quarles, bus driver, summer school for Brewton Bus Shop, effective June 2; Melba Coleman, bus driver, summer school for Brewton Bus Shop, effective June 2; Racy Riddle, bus driver for 21st Century Community Learning Center Summer program, Brewton bus shop, effective June 2; Quincy Nearer, bus driver for At-Risk Summer program, Brewton Bus Shop, effective June 2; Elizabeth Alford, bus driver for Title 1 Jump Start Summer program, effective June 2; and Paula Martin, bus driver for Brewton YMCA summer program, Brewton Bus Shop, effective June 2; Employment: Title I Summer School Personnel at Rachel Patterson Elementary School — teachers are John Brantley, Leigh Ann Rowland, Katrina Dean, Jessica Flavors; CNP Summer Feeding Program personnel at Escambia County High School will be Monica Buckhault and Jennifer Strength; Brian Stallworth, first grade teacher at Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective Aug. 1 replacing Ashley Windham.
Positions for temporary part-time summer program employees were also approved for A.C. Moore Elementary, Escambia County Middle and High schools, Flomaton Elementary; Huxford Elementary, Pollard-McCall Junior High School, Rachel Patterson Elementary, W.S. Neal Elementary, Middle and High schools, Turtle Point Environmental Science Center, Escambia-Brewton Career Tech Center and Atmore Bus Shop.