After the program was shuttered for a year, foreign exchange students will be able to return to Decatur City Schools next school year.

At its meeting last week, the school board voted to lift the suspension of the program that has been in place since April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I do feel comfortable lifting it,” Superintendent Michael Douglas told board members.

In a memo recommending the change to Douglas and the board, Deputy Superintendent Dwight Satterfield said the reinstatement of the policy allowing foreign exchange students would be effective for the 2021-2022 school year. The policy, as written, allows the superintendent to develop guidelines and procedures for those students requesting to enroll in Decatur City Schools.

Douglas said after the vote that he would present any policy changes to the board.

According to Satterfield’s memo, one of the possible guidelines to be added for the 2021-2022 school year would be a requirement that students provide a negative COVID-19 test at least three days before their enrollment/start date.

The school board voted in April 2020 to revise its foreign exchange program, suspending it for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year and the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. The board decided in February that the program would remain suspended through the end of this academic year.

The district allows up to two foreign exchange students per school per school year, according to Satterfield.

“I’m glad to see us get back to normalcy,” said board member Dwight Jett.

The board also approved personnel actions recommended by Douglas, including the retirements of employees with a combined 100 years of service with the school district.

The retiring employees and their years of experience are: Michael Bobbitt, assistant principal, Decatur High, five years; Sharon Jefferson, HR secretary, 24 years, Central Office; Tina D. Lawrence, science teacher, 32 years, Austin High; Glenda Y. Housley, aide, 16 years, Chestnut Grove; and Sarah M. Wingo, extended day bookkeeper, 24 years, Leon Sheffield.


Certified personnel



Austin High: Tina D. Lawrence, science teacher, May 28, retirement.

Banks-Caddell: Taylor Raegan McCool Ciszek, third grade teacher, April 16.

Decatur High: Michael Wade Bobbitt, assistant principal, June 30, retirement.



Decatur City: Shauntae Lockett Lewis, unassigned secondary teacher (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).


Short-term contracts

Austin Middle — Summer Learning Academy: teachers Rebecca Leilani Kalena Kaeo, Dustin Keith Box, Carmen Schrenkel, Wendy McBride Henderson, Lydia Jean Free, Robin Burks Clay, Amber Christina Marie Dudley, Julie Jackson Dudley, Shena R. Ivey, Patricia Chandler Huff, Mary Catherine Thibodeaux, Haley Burnett Kuhlman, Deborah Ann Wendolek and Kirsten Hayley Hyatt.

Banks-Caddell: Angie Whittington, interim principal.

Special Services: Monica G. Wright, PSY; Hannah Mary Catherine Perry, collaborative specialist; Traci Marmontello Howell, collaborative specialist; Leigh Ann Pannell, collaborative specialist; Ashley Reese Wells, PSY; Christen Newsom Adams, testing; Lauren A. Smith, SPE teacher, summer IEP writing.

Summer Learning Academy: Suzanne E. Vermeire, teacher; Brenda R. Davis, teacher; Sonia Morrow Hargrove, teacher; Deanna Lynn Martin, teacher; Elizabeth Jordan Jennings, teacher; Bridgette Crayton Owens, teacher; Carol Anne Irvine, teacher; Tara Nicole Wood, teacher; Phyllis Anne Wright, teacher; Ursula Maenda Caston, teacher; Wanda Faye Shaw, teacher; Anna Taylor Jones, teacher; Emily Karissa Lakin, teacher; Arnetra Renea Nance, teacher; Janet Wood Foster, teacher; Felicia Rene Woodruff, teacher; Wendy Ellen Coffey, teacher; Rachel Dutton Simpson, teacher; Andrea J. Cohn, teacher; Carol Ann Shaw, teacher; Janet Lee H. Lowery, teacher; Amy Nixon Jackson, teacher; Elizabeth A. Summerford, teacher; Kirsten Alexandra Hawkins, interventionist; Tamela Shontae Sales, teacher; Jennifer Rebecca Anderson, teacher; Jessica Putnam Lovelace, teacher; Melissa D. Byrd, teacher; Whitney Michelle Johnson, teacher; Jacqueline G. McGrady, teacher; Tiffany Lynette Abernathy, teacher; Rainey Leigh Raiden, teacher; Peter C. Wilkerson, teacher; Lisa Rene Mishalanie, teacher; Haley M. Flack, teacher; Lila R. Ackley, teacher; Kimberly Michelle Wilkinson, teacher; Jennifer Lavvorn Parker, teacher; April Lynn Watkins, teacher; Jessica A. Sumners, teacher; Taylor Medlock Foutz, teacher; Jennifer Christy Williams, teacher; Natalie Evon Flanagan, teacher; Charlotte B. Ellenburg, teacher; Amanda Leigh Sikes, teacher; Melissa Ann Olinger, teacher; Sarah Wesseling Piper, teacher; Opal Michelle Washington, teacher; Terri Kennedy Banks, teacher; Bridgett Helms Hayes, teacher; Karen Michelle Sales, teacher; Hannah Elissa Tilley, teacher; Anna Haase Pena Diaz, teacher; Karen Latoshia Richardson, teacher; Ali Vest Smith, teacher; Ashley Faye Cunningham, teacher; Megan Leigh Parker, teacher; Julianna Rose Woolard, teacher; Emily Horton Morrow, teacher; Ronnie Tyler Wood, teacher; Melanie R. Stephenson, teacher; Cynthia Diane White, teacher; Diedre Danielle Davis, teacher; Mollie Catherine Flanagan, teacher; Audrey Dawan W. Johnson, teacher; Hannah Elizabeth Keenum, teacher; Kirsten Olivia Jordan Champion, teacher; Sandra G. Burleson, teacher; Melody Waldrop Echols, teacher; Teresa Dawn Shaver, teacher; Leslie Coan Dutton, reading specialist; Celina Suzanne Daniel, reading specialist; Benja James Ringler, reading specialist; Lesa Sharpley Torain, reading specialist; Susan I. Blake, reading specialist; Elizabeth Ann Young, teacher; Jeffrey Lynn Gilbreath, teacher; Sarah Grisham Henderson, teacher; Wimbreth Howard Hayes, interventionist; Jessica Sue Lindsey, interventionist; Whitney Hope Lawrence, teacher; Jelisa Lanell Thompson, interventionist; and Cheryl Todd Smith, teacher.

Special Education Summer Learning Academy: Tammy Crane Ford, teacher; Emily Ownby Norris, teacher; Kimberly Hagood Kent, teacher; Jeanne G. Wheat, speech therapist; Alison P. Gilchrist, teacher; Erin Hutter Roberts, teacher; Antoinette R. Sisco-Williamson, teacher; Carol Moore Conner, teacher; Kaylan Whitney Blake Orman, teacher; Paige Barber Williamson, speech therapist.

Summer Learning Academy — ESL: Jennifer Laura May, teacher; Donna M. Cooper, teacher; Robin Burks Clay, teacher; and LaToya R. Patton, teacher.

Summer School — EXCEL: Joni Sue Bair, teacher; Savannah Brooke Ball, teacher; Wendi S. Busing, teacher; Robin Burks Clay, teacher; Isabella Blankenship Coffell, teacher; Kelly Waters Elmore, teacher; Cheri Holsclaw Page, teacher; Robert Hunter Sandoval, teacher; Roberta Kay Stephens, teacher; Natalie Kate Walker, teacher; Patricia B. Siek, teacher; Ildiko Szebenyik, teacher; and Nancy Lovvorn Turbyfill, teacher.


Non-certified personnel



Central Office: Sharon F. Jefferson, human resources secretary, June 30, retirement.

Chestnut Grove: Glenda Y. Housley, aide, May 27, retirement.

Leon Sheffield: Sarah M. Wingo, extended day bookkeeper, July 1, retirement.

West Decatur: April Marie Langham, head custodian, April 30.



Decatur High: Alison Lyle, custodian (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Julian Harris: Ashley Garcia, auxiliary teacher, Pre-K (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Maintenance: Andrew Steven Harper, general maintenance, April 15, Schedule MG, Rank 00, Step 3.

Special Services: Dannielle Lanning, paraprofessional (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).

Transportation: Billie Kenneth Nelson III, bus driver (pending the procurement of satisfactory documentation and board approval).


Short-term contracts

Summer Learning Academy: Marietta S. Hill, aide.

Special Services: Julie Elizabeth Ball, clerical aide.

Special Services Center: Trinna Harris Carter, CNP Manager, June 2-July 22; Heather Rena Cook, CNP worker, June 1-July 22; Harriette F. Williams, CNP worker, June 1-July 1; Angela Deran King, CNP worker, June 1-July 1; and Kathy Dale Hamilton, training, June 2-June 4.


Leaves of absence



Chestnut Grove: Victoria Hope Lankford, requests to extend FMLA, April 30.



Special Services: Julie Elizabeth Ball, requests medical leave.


Previous board approvals (verified start date and/or experience)

Decatur High: Kalah Brooke Cardwell, start date, April 14, Schedule K, Rank KK, Step 0.

Maintenance: Robert W. Sappington, start date, May 3, Schedule MO, Rank A, Step 7.

Transportation: Charles N. Padgett, start date, April 14, Schedule V1, Rank 00, Step 0.


Contingent employment

Special Services: Rebecca Elizabeth Brown, contract withdrawn.

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