MCBOE Announces Faircloth’s Retirement
It was an emotional end to the Montgomery County Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting on Monday, October 23, as the Board unanimously voted to accept the retirement of Assistant Superintendent Beverly Faircloth, effective November 30.
“Dr. Faircloth, you will surely be missed,” Board Chairman Henry Price emphasized after the final vote. “We appreciate every effort that you have made for our school system. You have made a difference, and we thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate you.”
Faircloth first joined the school in 2018 as the Montgomery County Elementary School principal. After three years, she became the Montgomery County Eagle Academy Administrator and has most recently served as the continued from page
school system’s Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum since 2021.
“The decision to retire was not made lightly,” Faircloth emphasized. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Montgomery County both as principal of Montgomery County Elementary and as Assistant Superintendent. Some of the best leaders and educators that I've had the privilege of working with over the past 31 years are right here in Montgomery County. As I told Dr. Rentz and the members of the Board of Education, the past 5 years have truly been the best of my career because of the people of this community and the support offered by the leadership of this system, which does not happen in every school district.”
When asked why she has chosen to retire at this point in the school year, Faircloth shared that she has a new opportunity arise to complete a career goal that she has held for many years. “I chose to retire at this time to accept a position with Brewton-Parker College as a full-time faculty member and Division Chair of Education and Behavioral Sciences,” she explained. “Although the Christ-first philosophy has always driven my actions and reactions throughout my public school career, having the freedom to share my faith openly and have a more direct impact on adult students was a strong motivation for my decision. As an alumna of Brewton-Parker College, I know first-hand how valuable that can be in the life of young adults. I will certainly miss working with the faculty, staff, and leadership of Montgomery County. However, I look forward to continuing to be a part of this community and to making an impact by pouring into the lives of future teachers.” Milestone Recognitions
Assistant Superintendent Beverly Faircloth, Board Chairman Henry Price, and Superintendent Stan Rentz presented several teachers with certificates acknowledging them for having the largest amount of growth and highest passing rates in their subjects on the annual Georgia Milestone Assessments.
“Heart of Georgia RESA is one of 10 RESAs in the entire state. We have 10 counties in our RESA – there’s Wilcox [County], Pulaski [County], Bleckley [County], Laurens [County], Dublin City Schools, Treutlen [County], Wheeler [County], Telfair [County], Dodge [County], and us,” Faircloth explained. “We were giving certificates for Georgia Milestone Assessment growth and highest rates, so I want to recognize those teachers.”
Fourth grade reading teacher Jennifer Cardinal, fourth Grade gifted teacher Amber Durrence, and special education teacher Sherri Covington were honored for their work in helping students earn the highest rate of growth in fourth grade reading in the RESA district, which Faircloth said is made up of 33 fourth grade teachers and around 28 fourth grade classrooms.
Seventh grade math teacher Beth Shannon – who retired at the end of the 2022/2023 school year – and her teaching team, which includes Eagle Academy math teacher Leslie Thomas and special education teacher Lindsey White, were also honored for having the highest seventh grade math growth rate in the Heart of Georgia RESA.
Both eighth grade Georgia studies teacher Lee Burkett and high school U.S. history Tteacher Melissa Barrow were presented with certificates for having the highest passing rates in the Heart of Georgia RESA for their subjects on the Georgia Milestone Assessment. Faircloth even shared that Barrow’s pass rate for the U.S. history Milestone Assessment was among the top pass rates in the entire state.
Board Chairman Henry Price commented on the recognitions. “It really shows where we’re at in the school system when these teachers take on these awards and they’re top in their areas – we have a lot to be proud of,” he remarked. “Teachers, I’m proud of you. Without your success, our students wouldn’t have success – so, thank you for all you do.”
Personnel Recommendations The Board voted to officially hire Billy Goodwin as the school’s new Director of Technology. Goodwin’s first official day of employment will be November 1, but he was at the meeting to address the Board about his hopes for this new role.
“I just want to say thank you for the opportunity,” he told the Board. “I love IT – I have been doing IT for going on six years. It was an honor to interview and go through the process, and I hope to come on board and be able to take it and hit the ground running to make it the best as possible. I want to take it from where it’s at and make it better – to do everything possible to help the students and staff of Montgomery County School System. Again, thank you for the opportunity.”
Board members also voted to allow current Montgomery County Elementary School P.E. teacher and Varsity Head Baseball/Softball Coach Chase Young to drive half of a daily bus route in order to replace former bus driver Buck Brazell, and to hire Rachel Robinson and Marvin Howard as substitute teachers, effective retroactively to September 11.
The Reverend Muriel Bell spoke to the Board about the importance of incorporating education about mental and social health in the school’s curriculum.
Bell, who is both a resident and businessman within Montgomery County, said that he wanted to share a few thoughts and ideas for the Board to think about regarding bettering the education for students in the county.
“I am doing an assessment to measure students on their social and emotional capacities to hopefully help their mental health and learning readiness,” he explained. “We can do something a little bit better to make sure students get that. I know there is funding, but you always have to have an answer to the problem. The answer to the problem is to have the teachers have more training. Funding is available in the state – you just have to put in for it and know how to get it. This money will better help our students in Montgomery County to be ready, especially with their social skills.”
He continued, “What we have going on in the state of Georgia today is mental health issues. I see it all the time, especially in our students. Let’s look at them as students and not adults – let’s not expect the outcomes of our students to be as that of adults. You have to think like a student thinks.”
Bell said the key to treating students as students and not as adults is to listen to the students’ concerns more. “You say, ‘They should be able to handle this.’ Maybe they can’t. What some students can handle, other students cannot handle. So, let’s find a way to help them in that area.”
He also spoke on the importance of informing students about the dangers of gangs and helping steer them away from that lifestyle. “Throughout the state of Georgia, you’ll find that in every school, the gang rate is going up,” Bell told the Board.
According to Bell, the Gang Resistance and Readiness Program, with which he is currently undergoing training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, may be utilized to educate students about gangs and deter them from that lifestyle.
“Bring it to the school – let’s get these children ready because it’s out there,” he emphasized. “If you actually do assessments – which I know because I go to court a lot – we have gangs everywhere. A lot of our gang members in our school system are coming from alternative school. What’s going on at alternative school? A lot of these children are going to school, staying half a day, and then, going home to the streets – nobody’s there. A lot of these schools are doing that, and that’s the way to get them.”
Bell shared that Emanuel County recently began a program to deal with these issues and found great success, and he would be willing to help Montgomery County Schools make the same changes. Board Chairman Henry Price thanked Bell for his time and encouraged him to meet with Superintendent Stan Rentz in the future to speak further about the topic and potential curriculum.
“It takes a village to raise a child – it really takes everybody. So, any help we can get, we really appreciate it,” Price replied. “We look forward to having that discussion.” Superintendent’s Report
Information on various aspects of the school system were shared during the Superintendent’s Report portion of the meeting.
Varsity Football will complete its season on Friday, November 3, as the team competes against Emanuel County Institution (ECI).
Cross Country Boys and Girls teams won 3rd place at the regional meet held on Monday, October 24. They will compete at the state competition on Saturday, November 4.
The basketball gym floors for the middle and high school have been refinished in preparation for the upcoming season. Little Eagle Learning Center A new play set was installed at the daycare by Director of Transportation Reggie Ricks and his crew.
Ricks plans to secure another new play set featuring three baby swings for the daycare soon.
Three new bouncer seats were purchased for the daycare.
The Center has participated in fire and lockdown drills without issue. Head Teacher Yesenia Serrano has created a rotating schedule to ensure the daycare’s gates are locked after drop off and pickup.
Routines and procedures are continuing to be put in place to provide the children a stable routine.
Daily slips are sent home to parents detailing each child’s day.
Report cards were sent home on October 11, and information for conferences was shared as needed.
Conferences will be held on October 26-27.
Beta Leadership members traveled to the Beta Leadership Conference on October 24-25.
Individual classroom teacher curriculum meetings are being held each week, as they rotate by content. Teachers are sharing curriculum maps, syllabi, unit assessments, and enrichment options to best serve the students.
Grade level sponsors are continuing to monitor attendance.
The RESA writing contest will be held on Thursday, October 26.
The Future Farmers of America (FFA) will travel to Indianapolis for the National Convention on November 1-4.
Sophomores will complete their individual graduation meetings with Principal Scott Barrow on Wednesday, November 1, to review grades, attendance, schedules, and more. Juniors and seniors have already completed these meetings.
A 45-day plan review for all schools has been completed to assess the evidence of the school improvement plan.
Erin’s Law, age-appropriate instruction on sexual abuse and assault awareness/ prevention, has begun its first session for many students. All students will have completed the first of the two sessions by Tuesday, October 31.
Assistant Superintendent Beverly Faircloth and other instructional coaches attended the Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors (GACIS) Fall Conference in Athens where they learned key practices for English Language Arts.
High school and district administrators met with COGNIA Representative Terry Johnson to complete the district introductory session, where they discussed timelines continued from page
and expectations for the upcoming accreditation renewal.
Pre-K Parent Night was held on October 16.
Teachers are working to create criteria and assessments to make it easier to identify students who may experience learning difficulties.
Georgia State Assistant Commissioner for Pre-K Susan Adams came to the school and read to the Montgomery County Pre-K classes during Georgia Pre-K Week. She complimented the size of the classes – as there are two classes with 18 students each, and one class with 19 students. She emphasized her pleasure in the third class and spoke encouraging words about the continuation of funding for the third class. Pre-K received a new outdoor sign for the facility.
Elementary School 4th Grade is piloting a new math curriculum for the school. The math teacher, her mentor, and an instructional coach recently went to a 2-hour instructional training that they shared was very beneficial. The teachers started fully implementing the curriculum on Monday, October 24.
Attendance is being monitored.
The teacher mentor/ mentee program is underway, as the group is completing a book study.
Bus drivers were celebrated on the week of October 17-20.
Fire and safety drills have been completed and gone well.
Kindergarten through Second Grade teachers underwent the University of Florida Literacy Institute training to implement the principles into small group reading instruction.
All grade level parent night meetings have been completed. These meetings were recorded and posted to the school’s Facebook page.
An Open House is being planned for the Department of Exceptional Learning students.
Communications Director Michael Lane and Superintendent Stan Rentz met with the company which sold the school system the board room audio/ visual system. The company determined that the system as unusable for the room.
The company agreed to buy back the current system and install a new updated system from a different manufacturer. This system will be used to livestream and record board meetings.
The company will give the school system 60 days to determine if the system is a good fit for the board room. If not, they will search for other options.
The next work session for the Board will be Thursday, November 9, at 5 p.m., while the next official meeting will be Tuesday, November 14, at 6 p.m.