The 14th annual Marbury Technology Award winners, a collection of innovatively disruptive K-12 educators, administrators and support personnel from all over the state, were recently recognized for their efforts, according to a news release.

Dr. Amanda Jones, principal of Mary B. Austin Elementary, was chosen as the top school administrator in the state for the 2016-2017 school year.

“The announcement came as a complete surprise to me, but is a great honor,” Jones said.

Sponsored by the Alabama State Department of Education, the award honors educator Chiquita Marbury for her years of service as a technology innovator in Alabama.

Education professionals from across the state who successfully introduced new technology concepts and systems within their respective school programs were selected. Only one recipient per category was chosen. Additional winners were:

Dr. Ed Miller, superintendent, Gadsden City School System; Shawn Hudgins, technology coordinator, Cleburne County School System; Daniel Whitt, central office administrator, Madison City School System; Jennifer Williams, elementary teacher, Central School, Madison County School System; Chad Burdett, middle school teacher, Oak Mountain Middle School, Shelby County School System; Melanie Brooks, high school teacher, Walter Wellborn High School, Calhoun County School System.

Nominees were judged based upon five criteria: innovation and creativity; impact on teaching and learning; leadership; teamwork; and scholarship. The awards panel rated teacher attribute scores for the highest level of excellence in each criteria.

Each of the award winners will receive a trophy of recognition at the 2017 Alabama Educational Technology Conference to be held June 13-15 at Hoover High School. The awards ceremony will take place during the opening session at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14.
S&S Sprinkler adopts tax program
Mobile-based S&S Sprinkler Co. recently became the first local employer to sign up for the Apprenticeship Alabama Tax Credit Program. With the program, S&S Sprinkler will employ and train future workers with the skills the company requires. The company will receive a tax credit through the program for each apprentice it hires.

The company currently has 29 apprentices, according to S&S Sprinkler chairman Leland Moore Sr.

The Alabama Department of Commerce officially launched Apprenticeship Alabama in 2017. The program offers tax credits to companies registered with the program through the U.S. Department of Labor hiring qualified apprentices. Those apprentices receive classroom or industry-specific instruction and on-the-job training.

Through the Apprenticeship Alabama program, apprentices receive a progressive wage, giving them an “earn while you learn” training experience that specifically meets a company’s workforce needs. Upon completion of the program, the apprentice will have a transportable credential that will increase his or her wage-earning potential.

An employer taking part in the program is permitted an income tax credit of up to $1,000 for each qualifying apprentice, and can claim a tax credit for up to five apprentices a year. Additionally, there are other federal and state funding resources that may benefit both the employer and employee.

The 2017 tax credit deadline for companies to sign up a registered apprenticeship program is May 31.

“I am happy to say S&S Sprinkler is the first company in the region to sign up for the Apprenticeship Alabama Tax Credit,” Frank Chestnut, manager of Apprenticeship Alabama, said. “S&S is a major player in the construction trades industry and is affiliated with many trades associations, including the Alabama General Contractors Mobile chapter.”

S&S Sprinkler is a full-service fire protection contractor licensed in 13 states. It provides design, installation, inspections and service for fire sprinklers, alarms, suppression, extinguishers and security systems. The company has been in business since 1971 and has more than 200 employees in five Southern offices — Mobile; Baton Rouge and Westlake, Louisiana; Beaumont, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

GCCC’s Webb recognized
Oncology Nurse Mandi Webb, RN, BSN, a member of the radiation oncology care team at Gulf Coast Cancer Centers (GCCC) in Daphne, recently won first place in a blog writing contest sponsored by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).

ONS 41st annual Congress attendees were invited to write a blog post to share the innovative changes they implemented in their practices as a result of attending the Congress. Webb’s winning article earned her free registration to the ONS 2017 Congress.

The article describes a special care kit developed to help head and neck cancer patients prevent and control radiation side effects.

“We are very proud of Mandi for the recognition she has received from her peers and the Oncology Nursing Society,” said Patrice Wilson, regional director of nursing for The US Oncology Network.

The care kit has been well received by patients and will be provided to every head and neck cancer patient receiving treatment at all GCCC locations throughout South Alabama. The kit enables patients to play a role in their own care by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to both prevent and treat common side effects that may occur with radiation.

“My goal in developing the care kit was to be proactive with patients so they can prevent as many side effects as possible,” Webb said. “By providing the kits on consult day, before treatment even begins, patients get an understanding of the products they can use if side effects occur, as well as how to use them so they can intervene immediately on their own behalf.”

GCCC provides evidence-based radiation oncology therapy in the Gulf Coast region. It was the first freestanding cancer center in the area to provide IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy) and IGRT (image-guided radiation therapy). These technologies are offered at facilities in Brewton, Daphne and Foley.

In addition, the practice offers respiratory gating, full-body stereotactic radiosurgery, BrainLAB and PET/CT technology at its Foley treatment center.

For more information about treatment procedures, call toll free 866-970-4222 or visit the GCCC website.