VIDEO: School Board holds moment of silence for Sylvania Bus Driver Ray Bramblett

VIDEO: School Board holds moment of silence for Sylvania Bus Driver Ray Bramblett

PHOTO: The DeKalb County Board of Education meets underneath their new, custom signage that was recently built by Agri-Business students at Geraldine (metalworking) and Sylvania (woodwork) for the board. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — The DeKalb County Board of Education convened on Tuesday (July 11). During the work session, the board discussed "Institutional Professional Development Day," standardized testing, and saving energy costs.

First in the work session, Superintendent Jason Barnett discussed the plans for the board's Institutional Professional Development day. This year, the board would like to include all board employees in the program. He explained that while the class has been held at the Lyceum at Northeast Alabama Community College in the past, the space was simply not large enough for the group. Barnett would like to have the sessions in the DeKalb County Schools coliseum and the board is in the process of finalizing the plans.

New teacher orientation will be held during on July 31st. The board also has partnered with Marshall County to conduct Sub-Regional Educational Board (SREB) Training.

Barnett then discussed the state's removal of the ACT/Aspire as the state's standardized testing. The board is currently in transition from the old the old system to SCANTRON or Global Scholar for grades three through eleventh. Juniors and Seniors will still be using the ACT, but not Aspire. Barnett expects to only use SCANTRON or Global Scholar for a year, until the state adopts a new assessment test.

The board also discussed the possibility of entering into an agreement with Schneider Electric or a similar company to help make the county school's facilities energy efficient. Barnett reported that the board had already met with Schneider, and had a meeting with another company soon. "I think it's a win-win; It's guaranteed by law to be budget neutral," said Barnett.

DeKalb Educators Association President Devin Bowlin announced that the association had recently attended the state leadership conference in Mobile. David Holt was installed as the state Vice President, and former DEA President Laura Hill, was reinstated on the state board. Representatives from the county also attended the NEA conference in Boston.

Video of the Work Session:

To begin the regular meeting, the board held a moment of silence for Sylvania Bus Driver Ray Bramblett. Bramblett was killed several weeks ago in a tragic crash on Highway 35 in Rainsville.

Superintendent Jason Barnett memorialized Bramblett: "Back a few weeks ago, we had a very unfortunate accident up here in Rainsville, a traffic accident, that took the life of one of our employees. Mr. Ray Bramblett; he was a DeKalb County employee for 11 and a half years at Sylvania School."

"He drove a bus, a dedicated school employee, he did a great job. He was a member of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. He had three children; Justin, Emily, and Joseph. A really, really good family. They all grew up and went to school at Sylvania. A Vietnam Veteran, and highly thought of around the county. It's a lot of sadness that we have that announcement. But we wanted to recognize him for his work and his service, and take a moment of silence in memory of him," said Barnett.

After approving the minutes from last meeting and the agenda, the board went into executive session, to discuss the expulsion of student. The name was withheld to protect the student's privacy. The board next handled resignations, leaves of absences, transfers, placements (certified and support), contracts, and summer school workers (full list below).

The board also approved a Joint Collaborative Foster Care Plan, which is required by the state. The board also approved Policy Updates mandated by the state, to keep the board's policies in line with the state guidelines. After approving an update to the Dual Enrollment policy, a policy was approved for grades to be averaged to the fifth decimal point for Rankings and Honor.

Finally, the board agreed to pay Alabama Association of School Board (AASB) dues to the tune of $14,000.00.

Video of the meeting:


  • Thomas Frost - Secondary Math Teacher, Sylvania High School
  • Morgan Davis - Pre-K Teacher, Henagar Jr. High School
  • Adam Watkins - Secondary Math Teacher, Ider High School
  • Steven Goff - Elementary Teacher, Collinsville High School

Leave of Absence:

  • Kenneth Dale Gilbert - Bus Driver, Plainview High School
  • Carol Sears - Library Media Specialist, Ruhama Jr. High
  • Allie Jones - Elementary Teacher, Collinsville High School


  • Bridgett Ott - Secondary History Teacher at Crossville High School to Assistant Principal at Ider
  • Heath Blackwell - Secondary History Teacher at Fyffe High School to Assistant *Delayed until next meeting*
  • Dustin Bryant - Elementary Teacher at Collinsville High School to Elementary Teacher at Ider High School
  • Shana Talley - Elementary Teacher at Henagar Jr. High School to Secondary Language Arts Teacher at Sylvania High School
  • Tammy Wynn - Pre-K Teacher at Ruhama Jr. High School to Pre-K Teacher at Henagar Jr. High School (This transfer failed due to lack of a motion)
  • Teresa Faye Walker - CNP Manager at Crossville Elementary School to CNP Manager at Fyffe High School (Williams and Richards voted Nay)
  • Sherri Haas - Itinerant Elementary SPED Teacher at Fyffe Special Services Center to Itinerant Elementary SPED Teacher at Collinsville High School.


  • Certified:
    • Bo Esposite - Band Director, Fyffe High School
    • Chelsey White - Itinerant Secondary SPED Teacher, Sylvania High School
    • Holly Farmer - Itinerant Secondary SPED Teacher, Valley Head High School
    • Jana Foshee - Itinerant Speech Language Pathologist, Geraldine High School
    • Lisa Middlebrooks - Itinerant EL Teacher, Collinsville High School
    • Jared Carson - Itinerant English Language Arts/EL Teacher, Plainview High School
    • Brandon Renfroe - Secondary Science Teacher, Plainview High School
    • Amanda Hayes - Elementary Teacher, Henagar Jr. High School
    • Pamela Gifford - Secondary English Language Arts Teacher, Collinsville High School
  • Support:
    • Jimmy Womack - Assistant Custodian, Fyffe High School
    • Aleisha Hancock - Itinerant SPED Bus Aide, Fyffe Special Services Center
    • Lee Sanders - CNP Worker, Geraldine High School


  • Penny Colvin - Behavior and Autism Consultation, IDEA B
  • Harold Guilford III - Maintenance Facilities, Local
  • William Ott - Mechanic, Facilities, Local
  • Lee Anna Porter - Nurse, Local

Federal Summer School Program: 

  • Hannah Culpepper - Aide, 21st Century
  • Felicia Higdon - Teacher, 21st Century
  • Mickey Jones - Bus Driver, 21st Century
  • Stephanie Lacey - Bus Driver, 21st Century
  • Tammy Miller - Bus Driver, 21st Century
  • Caitlyn Powell - Teacher, 21st Century

Summer Workers: 

  • Amie Martin - Plainview, Local
  • Melissa Smith - Collinsville, Local

The next meeting of the DeKalb County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 5 pm with the Work Session beginning at 4 pm.