Future of education in Selma – Dallas County to be discussed at town hall Saturday

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, January 7, 2020

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Wallace Community College – Selma (WCCS), Alabama Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, D-Selma, and the Deputy Senators of District 23 will host The Envisioning of Excellence in Education Town Hall Meeting this Saturday at 1 p.m. in the theater at WCCS.

“The year 2020 is a year of vision and excitement is already in the air,” said Sanders-Fortier. “I believe that our coming together to share a vision for excellence in education will be a blessing to all the children of Dallas County and the state of Alabama.”

Sanders-Fortier described Saturday’s town hall meeting as a meeting for everyone – public and private schools, kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as colleges and the county and city school systems.

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Sanders-Fortier encourages businesses and community organizations to attend, joining students, parents, teachers and administrators.

“Our state is in crises in education. Many of our students go off to college and find themselves in remedial classes.  Many businesses don’t have the workforce educated to their needs as employers.  Many parents want better educational services for their kids. All while Schools are dealing many times with shrinking populations and less money than they need. Teachers are dealing with more social challenges in the classroom.  We have some great leadership in our schools but without the support and united vision, creativity, and work of our community I don’t believe that we will reach excellence.  Our children deserve excellence,” said Sanders-Fortier. “Our county is a microcosm of much of the state of affairs in our state. If we can find solutions that work for all those, education prospers in our county and we can help turn the tide in the state of Alabama.”

Saturday’s event will feature a panel of educational leaders in the community, including WCCS President Dr. James Mitchell, Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams and Dallas County Schools Superintendent Hattie Shelton.

The superintendents of both city and county school systems shared their excitement to be among Saturday’s panelists.

“I am honored to participate as a panelist for the town hall and look forward to sharing the successes and challenges faced by Team Selma,” said Williams. “When Senator Fortier asked for me to participate, it was easy to answer ‘yes.’ Community engagement is of extreme importance to our school district and I am grateful for this opportunity.”

“To be chosen as a panelist for the town hall meeting on envisioning excellence in education means the world to me,” said Shelton. “It provides me the opportunity to speak with our community about how we can work together to provide an excellent education for all students in the Selma-Dallas County community.”

Both superintendents also offered words of encouragement to the community to attend the event.

“Education is a powerful avenue that can change outcomes for the entire community,” said Williams.  “We need the community to come out and learn more about what’s going well in our schools and where we need support.  We also need to ensure that parents and community members have a voice.  Our teachers, leaders and especially our scholars need the backing of the community.  I am proud of the progress that Selma City Schools has made and look forward to addressing our many challenges.  I am excited about hearing from other local leaders and to receive feedback and input from members of the Selma-Dallas County community at the town hall.”

“I strongly recommend people throughout our community attend this meeting to understand how a quality education for our students will impact the overall perception of our community to businesses and others considering relocation to the area,” said Shelton. “My hope for this meeting is for those who attend to learn how they can effectively support schools in improving students’ learning and educational progress, as well as how they may help schools provide a challenging and well-rounded education for all children.”