By Crystal Burns
The Trenton Special School District board gave Director of Schools Tim Haney high marks and praise on his annual evaluation.
Board Chairman Dr. Mark Harper shared the results at the district’s Dec. 1 meeting, saying Haney scored above or significantly above expectations in all areas.
“We feel like you are doing an excellent job,” Harper told Haney. “We are fortunate to have someone of your caliber leading our district.”
Harper shared a couple of comments that board members wrote on their evaluations of Haney. One complimented Haney for preparing the district for COVID-19 solutions, and another said Haney’s dedication to the district is impressive.
“It’s been a pleasure for 36 years, and I’m humbled by the job evaluation,” Haney said.
Haney has worked his entire career in the Trenton district. He has been in the classroom, on the sidelines, and in administration as principal at Trenton Elementary and Peabody High schools. In 2017, the board hired him to succeed Sandra Harper as director of schools.
Haney said it would be arrogant of him not to credit the district’s Central Office team.
“We work hard,” he said, saying while two areas of focus are compliance and budget, his goal is always to maintain healthy relationships with students.
Board members score Haney in the areas of Board Relationship, Community Relationships, Staff and Personnel Relationships, Educational Leadership, and Facilities and Finance.
Before recognizing Haney’s achievements, Harper lauded Peabody football coach Shane Jacobs and the coaching staff for the Golden Tide’s third consecutive trip to the BlueCross Bowl Class 2A Championship. It’s Peabody’s fourth appearance in the state finals since 2014. Jacobs was an assistant coach on that championship team.
“What an outstanding job you have done working with our kids this year, the inspiration you give them, the skills you impart to them,” Harper told Jacobs. “We’re blessed to have somebody of your caliber.”
Student recognition – Katie Bruketta recognized Samantha Copley and Katelyn Scott, students who scored a 3 on the AP Human Geography test in May. Advanced Placement (AP) courses use college-level curriculum. At the end of the semester, students may choose to take the test, which they pay for, and can obtain college credit by scoring 3, 4, or 5 on the exam.
Bruketta said Human Geography is the first AP test to be offered at Peabody. The course started in January, with students working through the content on what Bruketta described as a “front-loaded” schedule. They finished the entire study guide by March 15 when Governor Bill Lee asked schools to close to slow the spread of COVID-19. From that time until the test was administered in mid-May, students received no in-person instruction.
Bruketta said she planned to use those final weeks of the semester to teach students how to take the test, which would have been a combination of multiple choice and short-answer questions.
“When we shut down, the kids didn’t get that,” she said.
Bruketta said she firmly believes had students been able to finish the semester in class, six to eight of them would have scored 3 or above on the exam. She is hopeful 2021 will produce more scores earning college credit.
Remote learning grant – Finance Director Tammy Smith said the district received a $45,630.85 Remote Learning Technology grant from state COVID funds to purchase Chromebooks for students. For every three the district purchases, the state reimburses it for one. Smith said the district applied for 445 Chromebooks and would be reimbursed for 142. The district has currently received 325 Chromebooks, with the remaining to be delivered in January. The state won’t reimburse the district until all Chromebooks have been received.
Director’s report – Haney said Tom Ferrell, whose company built and currently owns the tower behind Peabody High School, is still working to finalize a deal to sell the tower. Haney said the potential new owner had a survey done that showed that the fence was not put on paper correctly in the original survey. The mistake didn’t lose or gain any land for anyone but has held up the transaction for six or seven weeks.