All heart

Mar. 17—The Cullman City Board of Education welcomed the return of some familiar faces at Tuesday night's meeting, and said goodbye to others.

Board member Jason Neal returned after an extended absence while recovering from a heart attack he suffered in January.

Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff also recognized Evie Welch, a fourth-grade student at Cullman City Primary School. Evie has also been absent due to treatment she was receiving in Boston, Mass. for a heart condition.

"Evie returned to school at the end of January, and I can't tell you how happy we are to have her back. She is one of the bravest students we have here," Kallhoff said.

Coach Mark Britton will officially retire on July 1. Britton has remained on staff in an administrative role since his retirement as the Bearcats' football coach.

Kallhoff shared several highlights from Britton's career at CHS, which includes the 13-1 record from the 2007 season.

"The 2007 season was the first 13-win season in school history and one in which the Bearcats beat Hartselle twice," Kallhoff said.

Tricia Culpepper will end her 31-year career in education on Sept. 1. Culpepper has served as CCPS principal for the last 16 years.

"I've worked with hundreds of principals in my-24 year career in education," said Kallhoff, "... Mrs. Culpepper is easily one of the best in the business."

the board congratulated the Cullman High School boys basketball team on their state championship. Board Member Cheryl Harrison addressed the incident after the game. The arena was cleared due to reports of gunshots. Birmingham Police have stated no gunshots were fired.

"That is something we are concerned about. Principal Kim Hall, Coach Stevens, and myself submitted a letter to the High School Sports Association with our concerns and were pretty much told that they were unable to comment on them. So the next step is we are planning on attending their board meeting in April to address them directly. We can't change what happened, but what we can do is look at the situation and figure out a plan moving forward so that it doesn't happen again," Kallhoff said.

Patrick Camp can be reached at or 256-734-2131 ext. 238