Retired educators celebrate Thanksgiving luncheon

Country Cottage Assisted Living hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon last week for the Franklin County Education Retirees Association.

Greg Hamilton, superintendent of Franklin County Schools, was the guest speaker. He addressed many achievements of the County School System.

For the 2019-20 school year, there are 10 public schools and six campuses managed by the Franklin County Schools district, serving 3,674 students. There are 514 employees in the county system. He discussed the problem of teacher shortage in our area and statewide.

Tharptown is the fastest-growing school in the county. The Tharptown Elementary School serves 526 students in grades Pre-K through sixth, and it has grown by 37 percent over the past five school years.

Minority enrollment is 15 percent of the student body – mostly Hispanic – which is less than the Alabama state average of 45 percent. The student-teacher ratio of 17:1 is less than the state average of 18:1.

Mr. Hamilton reported on the capital improvements that have been completed and those planned for the county schools. The Franklin County Schools system has a budget of $38.7 million, with $2.2 million in reserve at all times.

He announced the county system now has 68 buses, which cover more routes and are air conditioned.

Other programs briefly covered were dual enrollment classes as well as Career Tech programs such childcare, cosmetology, welding and the new aviation program at Phil Campbell High School.

His presentation ended with a question-and-answer session.

The FCERA donated school supplies and hygiene products for the county school children.

Secretary Faye Swinney, read the minutes, with the treasurer’s report given by Judy Baker.

President Sandy Gibson reported that the State Retirees Association was awarding nine $2,000 scholarships for undergraduate work in education. Retirees were encouraged to pass information for scholarship to possible applicants.

The personnel at Country Cottage gave several door prizes at the conclusion of the meeting. Members showed their appreciation for a delicious luncheon and program.

The Christmas luncheon will be held at First United Methodist Church Dec. 11 at noon. Meat will be provided by the FCERA, and members are to bring a covered dish. The RHS Ensemble will perform.

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