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Lanett School Board honors retiring principal

On Tuesday, the Lanett City School board met in the Lanett High School Media center. At the meeting, the board and school system recognized long-time principal Jamie Heard, whose retirement was approved in November.

Heard has been in education his entire life, starting his teaching career at Bob Harding Shawmut Elementary School in 1981 and has been at W.O. Lance Elementary School since 1994.

“Mr. Heard is dedicated,” School board member Katie Walton said. “He was dedicated at Bob Harding Shawmut Elementary School and Lanett too. That brings about a good response to the public when they see how dedicated you are and the outstanding work that you’ve done. Let the work you’ve done speak for itself. We thank you so very much. We thank you for all the years you have dedicated to education.”

Heard worked for Walton during his 12 years at Bob Harding Shawmut.

“I’ve been in school all my life,” Heard said. “I’m going to miss it. When I first started in Chambers County, I started in the lunchroom, and I told coach [Charlie] Williams that I could come back and help him too.”

Heard will be replaced by current Lanett Junior High School Principal Donna Bell.

On Monday, Lanett City Schools returned to its two days a week on-campus learning.

The system shut down on Nov. 19 due to the number of students and staff that were forced to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19.

Since Aug. 12, the school system has had 106 students and 18 staff members quarantine due to exposure.

“It is very important that we do all that we can,” Lanett City Schools Superintendent Jennifer Boyd said.

“There’s no way that I can safely say without being reckless that we’re going to allow students to come [back to on-campus learning] when we have 124 people having to quarantine. As a leader, that is just not safe. Listening to the numbers in Alabama that we’ve seen since yesterday, that is just alarming. Let’s all do what we can, so we can get back to normal, whatever that will be after this pandemic.”

Because of the shutdown, the school system will not add an extra on-campus day until after the Christmas break.

“We are still focused on our goal of once we come back after the holidays and after a period of time, I’m really hoping that we can move back toward five full days on campus,” Boyd said.