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Warren Zeiders

Sylacauga City Schools preparing for the new year


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Under the leadership of superintendent Dr. Michele Eller, Sylacauga City Schools is preparing the new school year with energy and focus. The learning environment will be strongly supported by trained teachers to guide and coach instruction at each school, with concerted emphasis on literacy and math.

“Our school board is committed to providing the absolute best instruction for our students,” Eller stated. “Professional development is a vital piece in making that happen. This summer our teachers and leaders have focused on vertical alignment of curriculum for consistency in teaching the skills students will need to master for success.”

Instructional leadership will have a new look with two veteran administrators leading key areas of curriculum districtwide. Debbie Barnett has been named math specialist and assessment coordinator and Julie Green has taken on the new role of literacy specialist. Both of these administrators have years of experience in the classroom and as principals, having also served dual roles at the state level. As highly respected experts in their fields, Barnett and Green will coordinate and lead curriculum and instruction from kindergarten through 12th grade, ensuring that students receive a sound foundation with growth in math and reading.

Each school in Sylacauga also will benefit from the addition of instructional coaches who will be charged with training teachers in the utilization of the Alabama Course of Study and provide comprehensive professional development to support teachers. Instructional coaches will work with faculties in their school to monitor, analyze, and use data daily in all tiers to improve teaching and learning. At Indian Valley and Pinecrest, Terra DeLoach and Lindsey Kissic will have concentration as reading coaches, with both schools receiving support from a math coach to be added later. Nichols-Lawson and Sylacauga High each will have an instructional coach who will coordinate and guide the overall curriculum for their schools. Natalie Hubbard will coordinate this effort at Nichols-Lawson and Sylacauga High will soon name their leader who will have the responsibility of ensuring that student progress is on pace at grade level, provide intervention where necessary, and that students are ready for advancement.

“Our focus at Sylacauga City Schools is about the whole child, developing each student to reach their full potential from year to year and ultimately prepare them for the day after their graduation,” Eller remarked. “From Pre-K through their senior year, students build year after year on the foundations of the previous years. I have high expectations for our teachers and high expectations for our students. By supporting them in every way, Sylacauga will take its place among the elite top schools in Alabama.”


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