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Andrew Long named to supervisor’s position at Jefferson County JVS

BLOOMINGDALE — A familiar face will greet students in a new role when classes resume at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

Social studies teacher Andrew Long has been chosen to replace Supervisor and Assistant Principal Cecilia “Sis” Abdalla, who is retiring in August after more than four decades in education.

Long, who has served at the school for the past two years, was approved during the regular JVS school board meeting on Tuesday and officially takes the post on Aug. 1.

The session was conducted online and Long did not participate in the proceedings but later shared his excitement.

“I am both proud and humbled for such an incredible opportunity,” Long said.

“I look forward to working closely with Principal Dan Hartman, Superintendent Todd Phillipson, staff, students and the JVS community in maintaining a positive learning environment for our students,” he added.

The Rayland native graduated from Buckeye Local High School in 2003 and earned his bachelor’s degree in integrated social studies from Ohio University in 2009.

He later obtained a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of West Alabama in 2017 and a principal’s certification this year from Salem University. Long returned to his alma mater to teach for seven years, followed by two years as a guidance counselor at BLJHS and a stint as assistant athletic director in that district before heading to the JVS in 2018.

Long resides in Rayland with his wife and two children and has been a member of the Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 926 for the past 17 years.

Long hopes to continue providing quality career technical education as an assistant principal to the estimated 370 students and contribute positively to the administration team.

Meanwhile, Phillipson said Long has established a rapport with students and will do well in the new role.

“Andy comes to us with a lot of enthusiasm for wanting to work with students. He’s looking forward to being able to help students in the building from attendance to promoting career tech programs,” Phillipson noted.

JVS Board President Larry George also welcomed Long.

“We’re happy to welcome him. It will be a learning experience for him and us with a new person involved,” he added. “It will be tough to replace Abdalla but it’s very positive.”

The board also recognized Abdalla for her dedication as she concludes 42 years as an educator, 29 of which were spent at the vocational school. George read a plaque in her honor and said she was an asset to the school system.

“It’s never enough to give somebody a plaque for the amount of time she put in,” George said. “We wish you the best of health and happiness to you and your family. No one will ever replace you.”

Abdalla, who announced her departure during the May board session, thanked officials and said she will fondly remember her time at the JVS.

“Thank you so much. It is time, but it’s going to be tough,” Abdalla replied.

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