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Baldwin County schools manage population boom

(img: WPMI)

What lies ahead as your kids go back to school?

Baldwin County is the fastest growing county in the state. Highly-rated schools have been the main attraction.

Teachers and staff have been preparing for the new school year which officially begins August 15.

A teacher like Laurin Hailey who's been teaching for 11 years still has that "first day of school anxiety."

New ideas and different ways of teaching and testing are introduced every year. School systems require teachers to maintain certain requirements to keep their certifications current.

"At times we do feel overwhelmed but as teachers we are lifelong learners, just because we graduated college could be a year ago." said Hailey.

Teaching changes with the times and it's Superintendent Eddie Tyler's job to make sure everyone in a classroom is on board with change.

"These teachers are lifelong learners they don't stop in the Summer like a lot of people think they do," said Tyler.

The county's mission to rid the system of portables has been relentless, but so has been the continued influx of new families moving to Baldwin County.

New schools are in the works in Orange Beach, Foley and Elberta, with more to come.

"There's going to eventually be a brand new school on County Road 64. An elementary school in Belforest, that will be out fourth of the $60 million pay as you go this first four years," said Tyler.

Borrowing money against the penny sales tax and making that tax permanent now gives the system $40 million a year to work with.

Allowing the system to partner with law enforcement to hire and train armed school resource officers for every school by the end of September and there's more.

"All of the safety measure we've done at our schools with magnetic locks, exterior doors where you have to be buzzed in. All those things are nearing completion," said Tyler.

Come August 15th some 4,000 employees will hit the ground running and their biggest fan will be cheering them on.

"I'm envious, I see a lot of these teachers in our schools and I wish that I could have been the kind of educator and elevated myself to their level. So I'm their biggest fan," said Tyler.

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