New CAO joins MPS board for first meeting after AdvancED

New CAO joins MPS board for first meeting after AdvancED
Tuesday night's meeting was the first for new Chief Administrating Officer Terry Roller (pictured). (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery County Board of Education met Tuesday evening for its first regularly-scheduled meeting since it received its accreditation report from AdvancED late last month. The meeting agenda included a number of typical housekeeping items, including recommendations for the student conduct handbook, receiving financial reports for past months and approving an emergency resolution to provide flood damage repairs to Johnson Elementary School following recent storms.

Terry Roller, the new state-appointed Chief Administrative Officer, was also in attendance. This was the first public board meeting he has attended. Roller replaced Dr. Reginald Eggleston, who was brought in last year when MPS initially went under state intervention. State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey previously said Eggleston will now lead a time to help struggling schools systems avoid intervention.

Roller said he is excited for the opportunity. He said he has read the report from AdvancED and confirmed work is already being done to address the issues.

"I've had time to look at it and go through some things," Roller said. "A lot of it is just procedural and operational. There are some fantastic people in Montgomery already doing great work. One thing we're going to do is streamline it, put it together and unify it. We're going to bring everything together and show how we're doing great work to change the lives of young people."

Tuesday's meeting was also the first for the board since last Tuesday's primary elections. Melissa Snowden, who was not at the meeting, was pushed out by Republican Jannah Bailey. Robert Porterfield will go head-to-head with Democrat Claudia Mitchell in a runoff. Lesa Keith will have to face a Democrat for her seat in the general election. Durden Dean and Eleanor Dawkins are not seeking re-election, with Dawkin's replacement already secured following Tuesday's primaries.

Despite a number of moving parts, board members said Tuesday's meeting was positive and productive. Keith said it was the first meeting where she felt heard by her follow board members. MPS Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore commended the board as the meeting ended on their interaction and how they conducted business, which was one of the issues brought up in AdvancED's report.

While the system could not confirm when the board will meet to hold more interviews for a permanent CSFO, an issue brought up by Dr. Mackey in a previous interview, Interim CFO Brenda Palmer presented eight months worth of financial statements.

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