ORANGE BEACH – The city of Orange Beach took more steps toward creating a separate city school system Tuesday, April 5, appointing a five-member school board and taking other actions to split from the Baldwin County Public School System.
The City Council voted unanimously to appoint the members of the board that will oversee the creation of the system.
“I do think we've got a home run with this bunch here,” Mayor Tony Kennon said introducing the board members.
They're all very qualified and we appreciate y'all serving, because a startup, it's going to be a lot of work, a lot of work,” the mayor added.
The new members are Robert Stuart, Shannon Robinson, Nelson Bauer, Tracie Stark and Randy McKinney. The first terms will vary between one and five years. After the first terms expire, the members will be appointed to five-year terms.
Stuart was a two-term member of the Baldwin County Board of Education, representing the Gulf Coast area. Stuart was appointed to a five-year term.
Bauer has been a member of the Orange Beach Planning Commission, assistant coach Orange Beach Middle School baseball team and a division chief of the Orange Beach Fire Rescue Department. He was appointed to a four-year term.
Robinson has served as vice president of the Baldwin County Education Coalition Board of Directors, vice president of the Orange Beach Education Foundation and as a member of the Baldwin County Board of Education Strategic Planning Committee. She was appointed to a three-year term.
Stark has served as a teacher at Orange Beach Middle School where she was named OBMS Teacher of the Year. She was appointed to a two-year term.
McKinney served as a member of the Alabama Board of Education and served three years with Alabama Commission for Higher Education. His initial term will be one year.
The City Council voted unanimously March 15 to create a new city school system, separating from the Baldwin County School System. The spilt is scheduled to take effect July 1.
The costs of the system will be paid through a 3% lodgings tax.
Kennon said at a town meeting on the school system that the new board will appoint a superintendent to oversee the operation of the city schools. The board and superintendent will then hire administrators for the schools in the system and make personnel decisions.
The board will also make other decisions needed to set up the system, Kennon said.
On Tuesday, the council also voted to appoint Nash Campbell to represent the city in the split from the Baldwin County School System. Campbell, a lawyer with the firm of Adams and Reese, will be paid $225 an hour for his services, according to city reports.
The city also voted to approve a change in the agreement with the county school board to remove the county board from the insurance policy on the Orange Beach Performing Arts Center. The city paid the cost of the building the $10-million center as part of the campus of Orange Beach High School and Middle School as a joint project with the county school system.