As principal of Hale County High School, it is with great pride and excitement that I write this opening letter for the 2016-2017 school year. In a few short days, we will open the doors and welcome every one back to a new school year. Together, we will create a year of excellence for our students as we focus on increasing the rigor of instruction, improving student and family engagement, and creating and maintaining an improved school culture and climate. We are determined to deliver high quality, rigorous instruction, and we will maintain a school where safety, respect, accountability and excellence are highly evident!
This school year will be an exciting one, as we have many new faces. We are excited to introduce: Mr. Kris Strickland, Assistant Principal, Mrs. Kelly Brown, counselor, Mr. Charles Moody, Physical Education teacher and football coach, Mr. Antwan Butler, Physical Education teacher and basketball coach, Mr. Marty Turner, math teacher and baseball coach, Mr. Thomas Lawler, science teacher and coach, and Mr. Matt Champion, computer lab teacher and football coach.
Lesley Payne has attended the Advanced Placement training this summer and will be offering AP English 11 this year on campus in addition to the courses offered at the College & Career Academy. Glenn Brown, Wendy Davis, Clemmie Hilton, Melissa Hopkins, Thomas Lawler, Jim Putman, and Donna Randall have been attending workshops this summer to begin “Laying the Foundations” for other Advanced Placement courses to be offered at HCHS next school year. We will have 8 teachers trained in the LTF training and those teachers will be implementing best practices along with the rigorous curriculum afforded them through our partnership with A+ Best Practices Center. This training will support our teachers with improving the rigor of instruction. For students that score a 3 on the AP English Exam, that equates to 3 college credits and English 101 in college. A score of 4 on the AP English Exam equates to 6 college credits and English 101 and English 102. Students will receive high school and college credit simultaneously. How exciting!
We are excited about continuing the GEAR UP Alabama program that we are participating in for our freshman class. All of the freshman that started HCMS in 2014-2015 are eligible as part of the GEAR UP Grant to receive free college tuition at any two-year college in the state of Alabama upon graduation. This is a great opportunity for all freshman students! Parents of these students are also eligible for the same opportunity.
Parents, take a minute to look at the Hale County High website. We are going to utilize that this year to keep you more informed. The 2016-2017 student forms packet is available there. You will also find the 2016-2017 Handbook Supplement. Take time to read this carefully and discuss with your student. There are a few changes that we are making this year as we continue to build an improved culture and climate in our school.
Also, please attend our Parent Academies this year as they will be focused around central topics of interest as we strive to do a better job of keeping parents abreast of what’s going on at HCHS. A calendar of these meetings has been placed on the website.
As your leader, I will be continuing to guide this school community through the work of confronting mediocrity and making the needed changes as we continue to build the culture of excellence for our school. We have a lot to be excited about as we continue to overcome obstacles and make adjustments to our academic and athletic program here at HCHS.
My door is always open and I welcome your input. Feel free to stop in or call to make an appointment to discuss any concerns, suggestions, or ideas to help make the best year yet!
As a reminder, the first day of school is Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 7:45—3:10. I am extremely excited to be working with the students, faculty and staff, parents and community members as we continue building the culture of excellence at Hale County High School.