By Nathan Prewett, For the Tribune
LEEDS – During a meeting on Tuesday, July 12, the Leeds Board of Education hired Racheal Haley as principal of the elementary school, replacing the outgoing principal Justin Burns, as he takes up a new position as superintendent of the St. Clair County school district.
Haley has served in the Leeds district for some time, starting with teaching science in eighth grade at the middle school before going on to be assistant principal at the elementary school for three years and assistant principal at the high school this past year.
“I am thrilled,” Haley told the Tribune. “I’m beyond excited. It’s going to be great to get back into that school. I spent a good amount of time there, so I have a great relationship with a lot of the teachers and a lot of the parents, and I am just glad to be able to be back there again.”
Haley said that she wants to turn attention to relationship building as the COVID pandemic in past years had complicated things for the schools.
“We’re going to focus a lot on relationships,” Haley said. “COVID has kind of really affected the way that kids have interacted with each other and interacted with adults, so we’re going to really focus on that component, build that up and help kids [develop].”
Students return to school on August 10.
In other matters, the board heard from Chief Financial Officer Ryan Miller, who reported the finances for the month of May, eight months in the fiscal year. The district received 73.9% of the general fund revenue and 98.26% of the local revenue.
The district is up 7.72% from this time of 2021. Accounts payable were $570,000, and gross payroll was $1.1 million. The month ended with an excess of revenue over expenditures of $2.4 million, and the unreserved fund balance was $5.54 million.
In his comments, Superintendent John Moore mentioned that the D.A.R.E program will begin next year for fifth graders at Leeds Elementary. A police officer from the Leeds department is currently in training for the program.
Burke Wren, Director of Elementary Education and Federal Programs, reported that the literacy camp at Leeds Primary School recently concluded with an estimated 150 children each day, and the Summer Reading Program will be finished soon with 136 children enrolled.
In other business the board:
- Approved the special education contracts for 2022-2023, which includes speech pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, and
- Heard an audit review from Potter, Bryant, and Moore Firm that concluded that the financial situation of the district was sound and saw no irregularities.
The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Leeds Board of Education building on 1517 Hurst Avenue.
A budget hearing meeting is scheduled for Aug. 30.