Attorney General Luther Strange was the featured guest of honor at a special assembly held at Helena Middle School to celebrate the school being chosen as a 2015 Alabama Safe Schools Awards of Excellence. Helena Middle School is among ten recipients of the award, which are presented by Attorney General Strange to recognize schools who are doing an outstanding job in school safety. Strange presented the award to Assistant Principal Jennifer Cofer and School Resource Officer Ken Lowery for their work in developing the school’s safety plan.
“Being the recipient of this prestigious award is not only a huge honor for our school but for our community. The City of Helena, and our police and fire departments play a vital role in assisting us in our safety efforts,” said HMS Principal Scott Knight.
“I am extremely proud of my Assistant Principal, Jennifer Cofer and SRO, Ken Lowery for continuously developing and revising our school safety plan with innovative ideas based on current safety research and the needs of our students,” Knight continued. “This award is also attributed to our faculty, staff and students who understand the importance of providing a safe learning environment.”
Since Attorney General Strange reinstituted these awards, the emphasis has been on technological advances dealing with modern safety challenges. As a result of past programs, the Attorney General compiled a “Best Practices” guide, and schools are judged by their implementation of these recommended practices. A panel of judges reviewed nominations to determine a winner from each of the eight state school board districts as well as private schools for each state region.
“The safety of our children at schools continues to be a paramount concern and we must work together to ensure that Alabama schools take the best possible protective measures,” said Attorney General Strange. “Each year, we learn from the successes of those who are recognized for excellence. We commend these outstanding schools, and look forward to implementing Best Practices to keep all Alabama schoolchildren safe from harm.”
Those in attendance at the event included Superintendent Randy Fuller; Assistant Superintendents Lewis Brooks and Lynn Cook; Shelby County Board of Education members Jane Hampton, Peg Hill and Jimmy Bice; state school board member Stephanie Bell; Helena Mayor Mark Hall; Helena City Council members Cris Nelson and Mike Jones; Emergency Management Agency Supervisor Hub Harvey; and Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar with various members of the Helena Police Department.