Aaaaaaand we’re back

So you may have noticed there’s been sparseness in this space of ours and that’s because a) my dear counterpart a one Ms. Jillian Nolin has left for greener pastures (tear) and b) I’ve been on a furlough-vaycay emphasis on the furlough.

"Ice fishing" on Round Lake. Note: there was no real fishing going on. It was strictly a hilarious (and cold) photo opp.

So after that brief hiatus let’s get down to business. In my in absence (where I took in some ice fishing, sort of, and other various hijinks in the Deep White North a.k.a. Minnesota) I missed quite a lot. So let’s recap what happened last week and look at some things coming up.

– Montgomery Public Schools were recognized for some serious energy savings. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded 17 schools the Energy Star designation, where schools achieved a 6 to 38 percent reduction in energy costs.  The school system reports it saved more than $2 million.

“Each school used a variety of methods to reduce consumption of electricity and natural gas. New more efficient lighting and automated control of environmental systems accounted for some savings, but the human factor was the most important,” a press release from the system stated.

The schools honored were: Brewbaker Technology High, Blount Elementary, Bear Exploration Center, Booker T. Washington High, Flowers Elementary, Forest Avenue Elementary, Garrett Elementary, Halcyon Elementary, Highland Avenue Elementary, Highland Gardens Elementary, Johnson Elementary, Lanier High, Lee High, Loveless Academic Magnet High, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Morningview Elementary and Morris Elementary.

Ed Richardson

– Pike Road also had some notable news last week. The town established the Pike Road Education Leadership Council and hired on Ed Richardson to head it up. Does that name sound familiar?

Well, it should Richardson comes to this role with an impressive resume, including eight years as state superintendent and three and half years as president of Auburn University where many credited him with cleaning up the at-that-time ailing university.

Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone told me this week he’s thrilled to have Richardson on board. Richardson is expected to take the helm in negotiations with Montgomery Public Schools about separation from the system and other various logistics.

Pike Road is paying him $15,000 for his work this year. Expect more details on Pike Road and its work to create its own school system in next weekend’s paper where I’m planning to write a follow up story.

Presidential Scholars candidates

– Also while I was out LAMP students were at it again. This time three of the magnet school’s students were recognized as candidates for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Students Lindy Elrod, Min Suh and Kevin Zhai were among 54 Alabama students and more than 3,000 nationwide invited to apply for the 2012 competition.

The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the country’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

– The Montgomery County Board of Education meeting last week also appeared fairly eventful judging by the agenda. I’m told there was more IB discussion. Remember board members are set to vote on bringing the prestigious (and not exactly cheap) program to Montgomery at Tuesday’s meeting.

Superintendent Barbara Thompson

– Also look for decisions Tuesday on a potential feasibility study for a new career tech center Superintendent Barbara Thompson outlined yesterday and possibly a vote on Thompson’s contract. She has asked for only two minor changes, including an additional week of vacation.

– Besides what will likely be an epic board meeting Tuesday, next week also holds a financial aid workshop that will probably be helpful for college bound MPS students. And the deadline to apply for any of the school system’s career academies is Thursday.

So besides cursing coping with the cold weather up north, I also kept up with the latest education news in Minneapolis via the Star Tribune, to which my in-laws subscribe. See here and here for a couple edu stories that peaked my interest and also see here for a great piece written by my brother-in-law. Not education related, but still really awesome.

So, what else did I miss?

About Annie McCallum Bitter

Annie McCallum Bitter is the education reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. She can be reached at or follow @anniemccallum
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One Response to Aaaaaaand we’re back

  1. PJ Hannam says:

    Always glad to meet others with ties to Minn-e-so-tah!

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