By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday., June 13, 2017, State Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) has been awarded the prestigious CLAS Legislative Leadership Award. Sonja Hines, 2016-2017 CLAS president, presented Dial with a plaque and an award at the 2017 CLAS Annual Summer Convention in the Mobile Convention Center during the Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.
The Legislative Leadership Award is presented by the CLAS board of directors to an Alabama legislator for outstanding support of school administrators and for dedication to the State’s school children. This honor is not awarded annually, but rather to recognize legislator(s) when CLAS feels there is an outstanding individual who exemplifies the criteria.
This Legislative Session, Senator Dial was selected for his consistent and unwavering support and protection of the Education Trust Fund (ETF). Dial keeps a pink piggy bank with the letters “ETF” written in large, black font at his desk in the Senate Chamber as a constant reminder to all. Former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) suggested combining the ETF with the State General Fund (SGF) and having one pot of money. While there are budgeting reasons for having one pot of money, most observers believe that if the state were to do that under existing circumstances the Legislature would divert money from education to: prisons, Medicaid, roads, and mental health.
CLAS Executive Director Dr. L. Earl Franks said, “On behalf of the membership and Board of Directors of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, I congratulate Senator Dial on his selection as the CLAS Legislative Leadership Award recipient. His many years of dedication to public education, coupled with his willingness to listen to our concerns and his integrity as an Alabama legislator, make him an obvious and unanimous choice for this prestigious honor. Throughout his ten-term tenure in the Alabama Legislature, Dial has distinguished himself as a champion for Alabama’s children and public schools. He is truly worthy of this honor, and we are delighted to recognize him in this special way.”
The Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS) was founded in 1969 by a small group of school leaders to provide targeted professional development and support for Alabama’s public school administrators. CLAS now serves ten affiliates representing each type of public school/school system leader. CLAS provides the framework to connect dedicated school administrators and other successful leaders with a network for professional growth and support.
CLAS is the premier professional development provider for administrators in public schools in the State of Alabama.
Senator Gerald Dial is serving his tenth term in the Legislature, having served two terms in the House and seven previous terms in the Senate. Dial has degrees from both West Alabama University and Jacksonville State Universities, and has done graduate work at Auburn University. Senator Dial is a real estate developer and is a retired General in the Alabama National Guard.
Dial and his wife, Faye have two children. He is the President Pro Tempore of the Troy University Board of Trustees, and belongs to several sports-oriented organizations. Dial has announced that this will be his last term in the Senate; but our sources suggest that Dial could be considering running for Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries. Incumbent Commissioner John McMillan (R) is term limited from running for another term.