Board of Education
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The Huntsville City Schools are under the direction of a five-person elected Board of Education, with its powers and duties set by Alabama law. Members of the board are elected to serve four-year terms and each represents a geographic area in the city. Board members appoint the Superintendent, unlike other cities in which the Superintendent runs for elected office. The board meets twice a month.
Discover who your school board or city council representative is by using the City of Huntsville Map Services.
Board meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of each month.
Work sessions, held on the first Tuesday of each month, are meetings in which the superintendent and administration keep the Board of Education informed and to present information to the BOE for consideration and discussion.
For information about speaking at a board meeting please refer to the Citizen Comments section of the Standing Rules for Board of Education Bylaws below.
To contact the board, please visit the Constituent Services Form.
Board Members & Schools by District
- Carlos Mathews | District 5 | President
President - Carlos Mathews is a native to Huntsville Alabama and is a graduate of Huntsville High School. He continued his education at Alabama A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. Mr. Mathews has worked for many years in the technology industry and currently owns a small business here in Huntsville, AL. He has served the Huntsville community as a PTA President, a member of the Huntsville City Planning Commission, and is a member of the Huntsville City Schools Policy Committee. He is committed to ensuring that all students in Huntsville City Schools receive the education needed to prepare them for the real world.
District 5 Schools:
School Type Academy for Academics and Arts Elementary Pre-K-5, Performing Arts Magnet Academy for Academics and Arts Middle Grade 6-8, Performing Arts Magnet Columbia High School Grade 9-12, IB Magnet Highlands Elementary School Pre-K-6 Providence Elementary School Pre-K-5, IB Magnet Williams Elementary School Pre-K-5, Gifted & Talented Magnet Williams Middle School Grade 6-8, Gifted & Talented Magnet
- Michelle Watkins | District 1 | Vice President
Vice President - Michelle Watkins is a lifelong resident of Huntsville, Alabama. Upon graduating from James Oliver Johnson High School of the Huntsville City School System, she furthered her education at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University by completing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Masters of Secondary Education, and an Education Specialist Degree.
She is also a graduate of Leadership Huntsville Focus Class 27 and a Certified Oracle Instructor. Michelle has taught at Johnson High School and J. F. Drake State Technical College and has been actively involved in various community organizations and activities in the Huntsville City and Madison County area. She presided as PTSA President for Johnson High School during its last school year, and has worked with the Junior League of Huntsville, the United Way of Madison County, the City of Huntsville Community Development Citizens Advisory Council, and the Alabama A&M University Youth Motivational Task Force. Currently, Michelle is a Management & Program Analyst for the United States Army Garrison at Redstone Arsenal.
District 1 Schools:
School Type Academy for Science and Foreign Language Elementary Pre-K-5, IB Magnet Academy for Science and Foreign Language Middle Grade 6-8, IB Magnet Dr. Ronald McNair Jr. High Grade 7-8 James I. Dawson Elementary School Pre-K-6 Lakewood Elementary School Pre-K-6 Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School Pre-K-5 Montview Elementary School Pre-K-5 Rolling Hills Elementary School Pre-K-6 Dr. Sonnie Hereford Elementary School Pre-K-6 Dr. Mae Jemison High School Grade 9-12, College Academy
- Ryan Renaud | District 4 | Third Presiding Officer
Third Presiding Officer - Mr. Renaud is a Huntsville, AL native, graduate of Huntsville High School, and graduate of The University of Alabama where he majored in Political Science with a double minor in Criminal Justice & International Relations. Before starting his career as a Mortgage Loan Originator with Trustmark Bank, he served as the Community Manager for the Relay for Life events under The American Cancer Society. Mr. Renaud also serves on the Planning Commission as an Ex-Officio Member for the City of Huntsville.
Before serving in his role as a member of the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education, Mr. Renaud has been an active member of the Committee of 100, Huntsville Madison County Builders Association, Leadership of Greater Huntsville, The Rotaract Club of Huntsville, and also served on the Board of Advisors for the YMCA. He is committed to supporting HCS administration and ensuring that all five HCS school districts are adequately staffed and tooled with their individual keys to success.
District 4 Schools:
School Type Huntsville High School Grade 9-12 McDonnell Elementary School Pre-K-5 Morris Elementary School Pre-K-5 Morris Middle School Grade 6-8 Ridgecrest Elementary School Pre-K-5 Whitesburg Elementary School Pre-K-5 Whitesburg Middle School Grade 6-8
- Holly McCarty | District 2
Holly McCarty was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. . After graduating from Grissom High School, Ms. McCarty continued her education at Auburn University. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in English from Auburn. Ms. McCarty also received a Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. After obtaining her law degree, Ms. McCarty worked as a prosecutor for nine years with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office.
Ms. McCarty returned to Huntsville in 2005 and began volunteering with the PTA in Huntsville City Schools when her two boys began attending elementary school. She has served in numerous roles within the PTA. Ms. McCarty served as a room mom, PTA Board member, sponsorship Chair, and PTA President several times
In addition to volunteering in the schools, Ms. McCarty has also served in other volunteer positions within the community. She has been on the Huntsville Library Foundation Board for the last 4 years and is the current Chair for that organization. Ms. McCarty is also a founding member and the immediate past Chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Society in Huntsville. Ms. McCarty is also a graduate of Focus Class 39 with Leadership Greater Huntsville.
District 2 Schools:
School Type Blossomwood Elementary School Pre-K-6 Chapman Elementary School Pre-K-5 Chapman Middle School Grade 6-8 Goldsmith-Schiffman Elementary School Pre-K-5 Hampton Cove Elementary School Pre-K-5 Hampton Cove Middle School Grade 6-8 Huntsville Jr. High School Grade 7-8 Jones Valley Elementary School Pre-K-6 Lee High School Grade 9-12, Performing Arts Magnet Monte Sano Elementary School Pre-K-6 New Century Technology High School Grade 9-12, Technology Magnet
- Andrea Alvarez | District 3
Andrea Alvarez grew up in Huntsville Alabama and is a graduate of Grissom High School. She continued her education at Auburn University, earning a Bachelor of Art in Criminology and later went on to earn a Masters of Science in Information Technology-Cybersecurity from The Florida Institute of Technology .
Ms. Alvarez has previously worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer, a Huntsville Municipal Court Clerk. Ms. Alvarez later switched industries to the defense sector working security and cyber security initiatives. She currently works as a Senior Financial Analyst contracted to the Department of Defense. She has served the Huntsville community as a past member of the HEALS board and current member of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation Board. She has also served as a PTA President and has spent several years on the PTA board at her children’s’ school. Andrea is committed puppy foster for A New Leash on Life and enjoys volunteering for local causes with her 3 children.
District 3 Schools:
School Type Chaffee Elementary School Pre-K-5 Challenger Elementary School Pre-K-5 Challenger Middle School Grade 6-8 Farley Elementary School Pre-K-5 Grissom High School Grade 9-12 Mountain Gap Elementary School Pre-K-5 Mountain Gap Middle School Grade 6-8 Weatherly Heights Elementary School Pre-K-5
- Articles I - V
Last Revision: February 22, 2023
The name of this organization shall be the Huntsville City Board of Education.
The object of the organization shall be that which is set forth for city boards of education in the Code of Alabama.
The members shall be elected the fourth Tuesday in August and shall take office according to state statute.
Section 1 - The officers of this Board of Education shall be president, vice president and third presiding officer. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Board. The vice president shall preside in the absence of the president and shall serve as timekeeper. The Board shall elect at third presiding officer to preside in the absence of both the president and vice president and to be timekeeper in the absence of the vice president.
Section 2 - The Superintendent shall be the secretary of the Board as required by state statue. The Board shall designate the treasurer or School Chief Financial Officer as custodian of all funds of the school system.
Section 3 - Officers shall be elected at the annual reorganization meeting.
Section 1 - Regular meetings of the Board of Education shall be the first Tuesday and third Tuesday of each month in the boardroom designated on the notice of the meeting of the Board.
Section 2 - Special meetings may be called by the president or a majority of the Board. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call. At least 24 hours prior notice shall be given unless the meeting is deemed an emergency.
Section 3 - A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
- Articles VI - X
Last Revision: February 22, 2023
Constituent Services establishes an opportunity for the Board of Education (BOE) to listen to constituent concerns and suggestions. As part of Constituent Services, the Board will develop procedures for Citizens Comments to be heard at designated time(s) each month.
Section 1 - Citizen Comments will not be heard in connection with any special called meetings of the Board, including emergency meetings.
Section 2 - Citizens of Huntsville, AL, parents and guardians of a child enrolled in Huntsville City Schools, and Huntsville City Schools' employees that desire to address the Board must sign up to speak consistent with the Board’s Standing Rules. As part of the Standing Rules, speakers will be required to provide the speaker’s full name and residential street address.
Board Comments establish an opportunity for each board member to share highlights of one’s activity as a board member and/or other communications. Board Comments will be held at the first regularly scheduled Work Session of each month and upon completion of the business of the Work Session.
Board Comments will not be heard in connection with other board meetings, including special called board meetings.
Board Comments shall not exceed three minutes.
The committees of the Board shall be appointed by the president if they are considered necessary to carry on the work of the Board. The Superintendent shall be an ex officio member of all committees.
Special committees may be constituted at any time by action of a majority of the Board or the president. Members shall be appointed by the president. At the time a special committee is created, its mission shall be specifically established by action of the Board or by the president. In creating such special committees, the president shall specify the time within which the committee is to make their findings of fact and/or their recommendations for the consideration of the Board. The committee is discharged by the Board's acceptance of its report unless otherwise determined. The superintendent shall be ex officio a member of all committees.
The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the Board in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with state statute, these bylaws, and any special rules of order the Board my adopt.
Amendment of Bylaws
These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board of Education by a two-thirds vote of the Board, provided the amendment shall have been discussed and submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.
- Standing Rules for Board of Education Bylaws
Last Revision: February 22, 2023
Meetings of the Board of Education (BOE)
- Meetings shall start at 5:30 P.M., unless otherwise approved by the Board.
- Meetings shall not extend beyond four hours. Unanimous consent of board members present shall be required to extend the meeting beyond four hours.
- All agenda items will be reviewed by the board president and vice president* before the printed agenda is sent to the Board. Each board member will have the opportunity to submit items to be placed on the agenda at least 5 days before the agenda is reviewed by the board president and vice president*. All items must be forwarded to the president for consideration. Only the board president and vice president* can edit items to the board package within 48 hours of the scheduled meeting.
- The printed agenda for each meeting and all supporting documents should be available to all board members at least 48 hours before each meeting, or if not possible, then as soon as possible thereafter.
- Items not on the printed agenda or items on the printed agenda that require a vote must have supporting documents within 24 hours before the meeting. Any modifications to the printed agenda (within 24 hours) of the meeting will require the majority vote of the board members.
- The printed agenda may only be adjusted by the president and vice president* up to 24 hours before the meeting. Adjustments must be made at the beginning of the meeting.
*or in the absence of the president or vice president, the third presiding officer
- Constituents may submit any HCS related question or suggestion by using the Constituent Services online form or paper copies provided at the board meeting.
- We will be in contact within a reasonable period of time, typically three business or as soon thereafter as possible. (Frequently asked questions may be posted on the HCS webpage and/or shared at a subsequent meeting of the BOE.)
- Constituents shall return completed cards to the basket outside the boardroom when the meeting adjourns. Only cards that are filled out completely will receive responses. The name and residential street address of the Citizen of Huntsville, AL (or annexed area), parent and guardian of a child enrolled in Huntsville City Schools, or Huntsville City Schools employee, making inquiry must be provided.
- Citizens of Huntsville, AL (or annexed area), parents and guardians of a child enrolled in Huntsville City Schools, and Huntsville City Schools employees that desire to address the Board must sign up to speak by the start of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board (5:30 P.M.).
- The Board will hear up to nine Citizen Comments at the start of each regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. This is to ensure that the Board can begin its planned business by 6:00 P.M. If there are fewer than nine speakers signed up to speak, the Board will begin its remaining business after the last speaker.
- Speakers will sign up on a first come, first served basis. All speakers must complete their sign-up to speak by the start of the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board (5:30 P.M.). To facilitate this process, there will be a sign-up sheet outside the boardroom from 5:00 p.m. until the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board begins (5:30 P.M.).
- If a speaker requests to speak and nine speakers have already signed up to speak, the speaker will be added to the list of speakers for the next available opening at a subsequent regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.
- Citizen Comments will not be allowed during special called meetings.
- Citizen Comments will not be televised by the Board. After Citizen Comments have concluded, the Board will begin televising the remainder of the meeting.
- No Board action should be expected based on Citizen Comments, nor should citizens expect a dialogue with the Board during Citizen Comments because the Board will want to study/research all proposals or requests.
- Speakers may not delegate his/her time to another person.
- Speakers must state his/her name and address prior to addressing the Board.
- Speakers have up to three minutes to speak.
- The Board may take steps to preserve the reasonable decorum of the meeting, and, as such, speakers whose actions disrupt the meeting may have their time cut short or be excluded from future participation in Citizen Comments. Examples of speech that may warrant such consequences include: use of obscenity; use of excessive profanity; use of racist or hate-filled epithets; making threats of violence; being overly loud or boisterous; and refusal to comply with the Board’s rules (i.e., the time limit).
- To ensure the privacy of the Board’s students, speakers may not discuss any specific students, including their own students, or circumstances directly related to the education of a specific student.
- To ensure that matters regarding specific employees of the Board are not discussed in a way that would compromise the federal due process and state administrative rights of any employee, speakers may not discuss any specific employees of the Board. Speakers are allowed to comment on the actions of specific members of the Board and Superintendent.
- For purposes of enforcement, the presiding officer will determine whether a speaker has violated these rules.
Board CommentsBoard Comments establish an opportunity for each board member to share highlights of one’s activity as a board member and other communications. Board Comments will take place at the first regularly scheduled work session of each month and upon completion of the business of the work session.
- Board Comments will not be heard in connection with other board meetings, including special called board meetings.
- Board Comments shall not exceed three minutes. The board’s vice president will serve as time keeper, except when the vice president is speaking. When the vice president is speaking the board president will serve as time keeper.
- Model Code of Conduct for Local Boards of Education
The Board of Education desires to operate with the highest standards of stewardship and principles of public service possible and to that end the board adopts this Code of Conduct to provide that members of this public governing board will:
I. Conduct of Individual
- Attend and participate in regularly scheduled and called board meetings.
- Read and prepare in advance to discuss issues to be considered on the board agenda.
- Recognize that the authority of the board rests only with the board as a whole and not with individual board members.
- Uphold and enforce applicable laws, rules and regulations of the local board and the State Board of Education, and court orders pertaining specifically to the school system.
- Render all decisions based on available facts by exercising independent judgment instead of the opinion of individuals or special interest groups.
- Work with other board members and the superintendent to establish effective policies to further the educational goals of the school system.
- Make decisions on policy matters only after full consideration at public board meetings.
- Comply with the requirements of the School Board Governance Improvement Act.
- Communicate in a respectful, professional manner at all times with and about fellow board members and the superintendent both in and out of the Board room.
- Take no action that will compromise the board or school system administration.
- Refrain from using the position of school board member for personal or partisan gain or to benefit any person or entity over the interests of the school system.
- Inform the superintendent and fellow board members of business relationships or personal relationships for any matter that will come before the board.
- Abstain from voting on or seeking to influence personnel or other actions involving family members or close associates or private interests.
- Communicate to the board and the superintendent public reaction to board policies and school programs.
- Advocate for the needs, resources, and interests of the public school students and the school system.
- Safeguard the confidentiality of nonpublic information.
- Show respect and courtesy to staff members.
- Immediately inform the Superintendent, or their representative, of any concern that needs to be investigated.
- Will not insert themselves into any outside transaction that is being developed or negotiated by the executing arm of the Board.
II. Conduct of Individuals at Board Meetings
- Work with other board members in a spirit of harmony and cooperation in spite of differences of opinion that may arise during the discussion and resolution of issues at board meetings.
- Take actions that reflect that the first and foremost concern is for the educational welfare of all students attending system schools.
- Make decisions in accordance with the interests of the school system as a whole based on system finances available to accomplish educational goals and comply with the School Fiscal Accountability Act.
- Abide by and support all majority decisions of the board.
- Act on personnel recommendations of the superintendent in a timely manner, particularly when there are financial implications of such decisions.
- Approve operating budgets and budget amendments that are aligned with system goals and objectives and are fiscally responsible.
- Honor and protect the confidentiality of all discussions during executive session of the board.
III. Conduct of the Board as a Whole
- Recognize that the superintendent serves as the chief executive officer and secretary to the board and should be present at all meetings of the board except when his or her contract, salary or performance is under consideration.
- Honor the superintendent’s authority for the day-to-day administration of the school system.
- In concert with the superintendent, regularly and systematically communicate board actions and decisions to students, staff and the community.
- Review and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and programs to improve system performance.
- Develop, in concert with the superintendent, the vision and goals for the school system to address student needs, advance student performance, and monitor the implementation of policies and programs.
- Provide opportunities for all members to express opinions prior to board action.
- Certificate of Affirmation of School Board Member
As required by the School Board Governance Improvement Act of 2012, I do hereby affirm all of the following principles of educational governance:
- That each decision, action and vote I take or make as a member of the school board shall be based solely on promoting and elevating the needs and interests of students or the system.
- That I will take or make no decision, action or vote to serve or promote my personal, political, or pecuniary interests.
- That each decision, action and vote I take or make shall be based on the best educational interests of the school system as a whole.
- That I will consider the views of all members of the board and the superintendent before making a decision or taking an action on any measure or proposal before the board.
- That, except to the extent otherwise provided by law, I shall take formal action only upon the written recommendation of and in consultation with the superintendent, and that I may not individually or jointly attempt to direct or corrupt the daily operations of the school system in a manner inconsistent, or in conflict, with the discharge of the statutory functions and responsibilities of the superintendent.
- That I shall actively promote public support for the school system and a sound statewide system of public education, and shall endorse ideas, initiatives and programs that are designed to improve the quality of public education for all students.
- That I shall attend scheduled meetings and actively participate in school system functions, activities and training programs that promote quality boardsmanship unless good cause is shown.
- I shall make the Superintendent aware of any concern or complaint that I, or a constituent, has so that the Superintendent, or their representative, may investigate and report the findings to the Board.