Sparkman School closes its doors after 85 years

WAFF 48's Matthew King reporting
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2023 at 6:02 AM CDT
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MORGAN CO., Ala. (WAFF) - After over 85 years, school leaders shut the doors to Sparkman School. In October 2022, school board members voted to close the school, citing cost concerns.

The school only had nearly 100 students from Kindergarten through sixth grade with the majority of those students coming from low-income families. The decision frustrated parents and teachers, as teachers and students will go to different schools next fall.

“[On] our third day of school, parents all went to the board meeting,” Principal Layne Dillard said. “This has been going on since the first of school. We knew that there were conversations.”

Dillard said she was disappointed with the decision to shut down the school. She said despite this, Sparkman students and staff will persevere.

“We can choose to be bitter and upset, or we can choose to focus on our why,” she said. “Our why is our kids. Our why has never been a school district. Our why has never been a school board.”

Special education teacher Rhonda Corder saw first-hand how focused Sparkman students are. She said regardless of where they’re going, she will always treasure her time at the school with them.

“I couldn’t imagine them doing bad,” she said. “They’re going to be wonderful because these teachers and these staff have prepared them to be wonderful. Our motto is ‘I am capable, I am loved, I belong, and I’ve got this. They got it. They know what’s going on, and they’re going to make new friends. It’s going to be a good challenge for them.”

Students and teachers will now go to Falkville, Cotaco, or Priceville, depending on their zoning.

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