Jeana Parker and students from the Alma High School robotics team gave a presentation on the program at the Jan. 11 meeting of the Alma Board of Education.

Board members Mike Higgins, Carrie Jernigan, Ronnie Newton, Chapen Rucker, Pat Whorton and Paul Winborn II were present.

Parker told the school board the robotics program has grown from 20 to 50 high school and middle school students.

In order to encourage female participation, she said the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation provided Girl Powered grants for teams with at least 50 percent or more female representation.

“In this program the students build, code and operate their robots,” Parker said. “They learn mechanical and electrical engineering as well as computer programming.”

Superintendent David Woolly reported the tax collections are up $175,000.

“These collections were unexpected and have helped our yearly budget,” Woolly said.

Student enrollment has increased 71 students since this time last year, Woolly said, and will make a difference in state funding for the following year.

Woolly also pointed out January is Board Recognition Month.

“The Alma School District could not be what we are today without our board members,” he said. “We are blessed with top quality members and appreciate your service and support for our administrators, our staff, students and the Alma community.”

Board President Mike Higgins opened a motion to extend Woolly’s contract to June 30, 2021. Motion was made by Jernigan and seconded by Winborn. It carried 6-0.

Higgins thanked Woolly and stated the district is in the best financial shape that it has been in a long time.

“Mr. Woolly’s leadership is to be noted and is very well respected,” he said.