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Hartselle Enquirer

Hopkins stays positive about schools

Morgan County School Superintendent Bill Hopkins talks about the status of education in the county school system. | Clif Knight

Regardless of the funding shortage Alabama’s schools are facing, Superintendent Bill Hopkins managed to smile, keep his chin up and present a positive message at a “State of Morgan County Schools” luncheon meeting at Burningtree County Club last Thursday.

The luncheon was sponsored by Decatur and Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and its sponsors and attended by about 125 school and business leaders.

“This has not been a good year for education,” Hopkins stated in his opening remarks. “All of us have heard about the 3 percent proration, and I don’t intend to go there today. I want to increase your confidence in public education.”

“Do you realize that the high school graduation rate in the United States is at an all-time high?” he questioned. “You probably didn’t because good news doesn’t make the headlines very often.

“I can assure you that we’re going to have students show up for classes in August, no matter what, and we’re going to provide them with the best education possible.”

Hopkins spent several minutes reviewing what he called “some of the positive aspects of our school system.”

He applauded the transportation department for maintaining a fleet of school buses with all being less than 10 years of age.

“We have 17 new buses and each one is equipped with four cameras,” Hopkins stated. “If you run a bus stop, you’ll be photographed and we’ll get you.

“Our child nutrition program is operating efficiently with a three-month operating balance. We’re serving 2,981 free and reduced-price lunches and four schools are on the fresh fruits and vegetables program.

“Many of the career tech programs we offer are industry certified. In addition, students are able to get college credit for the some of the courses they complete and we’re working with Wallace State Community College to establish a dual enrollment program.

“Our technology department is moving forward with the creation of up-to-date face book and web sites, and we have trained web techs in our schools. For example, we had 100 used computers donated to the school system recently. When we realized it was going to cost about $100,000 to get a contractor to come in a put them on line, we turned to our web techs and they were able to do the work and save the system $16,000.”

Hopkins also pointed out that each  elementary school in the county system is an ARI and AMSTI school and is participating in a program titled “Seven Habits for Highly Effective Leaders.”

He also pointed out that Morgan County students consistently score above the state average in reading, math, science and writing tests

“As business leaders, I want to know that our school system if providing its students quality facilities and a quality education. To our parents, O want you to know that if you’ll get your children out of bed on time, feed them breakfast and send them to school, we’ll take care of their education.

“How many of you can point to a teacher who made a difference in your life,” Hopkins questioned the audience.”
After hands shot up on the air, he stated. “I, too, am an example of someone whose life was changed for the better because of the influence my teachers had on me.”

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