Orange Beach Elementary honored for safety


Orange Beach not only expects excellence in its after-school programs, but in the safety of its elementary school as well.

For the seventh consecutive year, Orange Beach Elementary School (OBES) has been awarded the Alabama Safe Schools Initiative Awards of Excellence by the Alabama Attorney General.

On Wednesday, March 19, Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the 2018 winners.

Mayor Tony Kennon said it takes a lot of effort and cooperation to provide that level of safety for OBES.

“What it takes to provide that safety is the community, the county school board, the mayor and council all working together on a goal,” Kennon said. “We’re going to keep them safe no matter what. Period. That is a non-negotiable for us. We hope we can set the example for schools all over the place. It’s money very well spent.”

According to a press release, a panel of independent judges met at the attorney general’s office to review submissions from 94 schools throughout Alabama, a record number since the program began in 2002 and twice the number received last year. Winners were selected from each of the eight state school board districts as well as private schools for each state region.

“In these times, we are all intensely aware of the serious responsibility our schools carry for the safekeeping of our children,” said Attorney General Marshall. “The Alabama Safe Schools Awards of Excellence is an important tradition of the Attorney General’s Office, to recognize schools throughout our state for dedication and excellence in keeping students safe. Each day that parents leave their children at school, they are entrusting what they hold most precious into the care of school teachers, principals, school resource officers and other staff. With these awards, we honor those who have achieved particularly high standards and set examples that others may follow. We are grateful for their service and commitment to protecting the children of Alabama.”   

Kennon said he receives a lot of feedback from parents in the community about the school.

“They’re extremely thankful,” Kennon said. “They know just how high a standard we set for safety. They want to know if our new school is going to be at that same level. It is. I’m flattered and appreciative of their acknowledgement of the efforts we’ve all made. In Orange Beach, in my mind, we couldn’t expect anything less than the best effort to keep them safe.”

Awards will be personally presented by Attorney General Marshall to the winning schools. Below is a list of the 10 recipients of a 2018 Attorney General’s Safe Schools Initiative Award of Excellence for the state school board district and state regions for private schools:  

District 1, Orange Beach Elementary School, Orange Beach, Baldwin County

District 2, Richland Elementary School, Auburn, Lee County

District 3, Nichols-Lawson Middle School, Sylacauga, Talladega County  

District 4, Eastwood Middle School, Cottondale, Tuscaloosa County

District 5, Prattville Junior High School, Prattville, Autauga County

District 6, Decatur High School, Decatur, Morgan County

District 7, Hewitt Trussville Middle School, Trussville, Jefferson County  

District 8, Morris P-8 School, Huntsville, Madison County

*Private School, Northern Region, no submissions were received this year

Private School, Central Region, Saint James School, Montgomery, Montgomery County

Private School, Southern Region, The Lakeside School, Eufaula, Barbour County