CONTRIBUTED BY MATTHAN BROWN / FOR THE OBSERVER
LEE COUNTY —
The Lee County School Board met Tuesday evening for its monthly meeting held at the central office located at 2410 Society Hill Road in Opelika.
After a brief prayer by board member Ralph Henderson, the Alabama Music Educators Association opened the meeting by honoring Dr. Brad Hunter with the Outstanding Administration Award. The award seeks to recognize high achievers within the state school system, and Hunter has accumulated a long list of achievements in his time teaching music.
Hunter played a key role in the school systems recent decision to let students get involved in music earlier by expanding the band program to include the fifth and sixth grades. During Hunter’s time working in the music program he has helped to secure more than $2 million of additional funding for things such as individual and group lessons for students and educators by licensed professionals, instrument cleaning services, instrument test kits and providing instruments to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it; as well as a band camp with more than 250 students in attendance and an inaugural Lee County honor band program that will take place in January 2024.
Hunter, who was unaware he was going to receive the award, took the podium beaming with pride as he turned the recognition back around to honor the students involved and all the hard work the band teachers put in to educate them, joking that “These kids can’t start band if they don’t know what a quarter note is.”
Hunter, who is a former band parent himself, went on to note the importance of the arts in a well-rounded education.
“You want all kids to have this opportunity … it’s about children and we’ve been privileged and blessed to hire some really good people, and they do a good job.”
His acceptance speech was met with a standing ovation by those in attendance — including a large group of Lee County music educators who had come to show their support for Hunter and applaud the positive impact he continues to have on the school system and the arts in our community.
Hunter also serves as the assistant superintendent of elementary curriculum for Lee County Board of Education.
The Outstanding Administration Award was followed by a review of the Lee County Board of Education’s 2023-24 budget.
Chief School Financial Officer Ken Roberts gave an overall positive review, noting that although federal funding will be decreasing by $6.3 million as emergency funds from the pandemic slow to a halt, state revenue will see a $3.2 million increase and local tax revenue will provide an additional $3.4 million, resulting in an overall increase in revenue for the school system.
The budget review was followed by the board quickly approving the 2023-2024 budget, as well as the monthly financial report, and a five year capital plan. School board meetings are held monthly and are open to the public.
For more information visit lee.k12.al.us