Brindlee Mountain school merge is an ongoing process

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Marshall County Schools officials are in the middle of merging Brindlee Mountain High and Middle schools, which is complicated process, because system leaders say at the end of the day they have to do what's best for the students.

"We are just in the planning stages of working out our students' schedule, and we're hiring teachers back in two phases based on the needs of the students," said Marshall County Schools Superintendent Cindy Wigley.

Brindlee Mountain Middle School and Brindlee Mountain High School are on the same campus and share some of the same facilities. System leaders say the end goal of the merge is to work more efficiently and effectively, redirecting funds to create more opportunities for the students. Middle and high school students will stay in their respective buildings.

The main difference will be a reduction of administrative and general operational staff. Tenured teachers will remain at the school. The majority of the non-tenured teachers will be rehired at Brindlee Mountain or placed in another school within the district. Wigley says the ongoing staffing process is a complicated one. "In a county school system, we have to manage our small changes in funding so that our students don't suffer," Wigley added.

The former principal of Brindlee Mountain High School, David McCollum, is appealing the Board's decision to terminate his contract as a principal with the system. He told WHNT News 19 he respects the Board's decision and wants what's best for the students and the system, but feels there are some other aspects that need to be considered with such a big change. Wigley says he will be offered other positions within the system.

"In education, at the end of the day, we have to be financially responsible and make decisions that are the best for our students," Wigley said.

The system is not cutting teacher units. The reorganization will hopefully be complete by next school year.

This is still an ongoing process, so school officials don't have concrete final staffing numbers, or the amount of money saved just yet.