BOE approves AASB to do search
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA — The Board of Education voted 4-0 to approve the Alabama Association of School Boards to conduct a superintendent search to replace retiring Superintendent Renee Riggins at a called meeting Tuesday night. Board member Steve Marlowe was absent.

The fee for the search is not to exceed $15,000. Board President Jennie McGhee said AASB offers three levels of service. The $5,500 basic level advertises the position and filters compatible applicants, among other benefits; the second level includes community involvement and costs $8,500; and a third level costs $12,000 and includes community involvement and a nationwide search. Levels one and two would advertise the position throughout the Southeastern states, McGhee said, although board members agreed they would prefer to keep the search in Alabama.

“I think we need to keep it in the state of Alabama, because Alabama school financing is so complicated, an out-of-town person would be overwhelmed,” said board member Skip Smithwick.

McGhee recommended the basic level, saying she feels the community involvement aspect is not necessarily needed.

“I don’t think we have a whole bunch of problems in the community with people being dissatisfied, and you’re going to always have some people (who are),” she said.

The BOE will vote on a level of service at a later meeting, but wanted to get a jumpstart on the search process since a number of other Alabama school systems are also seeking a superintendent. Aside from AASB, the board’s other option was to conduct the search themselves, which is a time-consuming and difficult task, McGhee said.

The board approved Riggins’s retirement, effective June 30, last month. Riggins has worked 29 years in the Sylacauga school system. Prior to her current position, she was assistant superintendent for five years. She has also served as curriculum coordinator and transportation coordinator, was principal and a teacher at Mountainview School and a long-term substitute at East Highland School, among other roles.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board:

• Approved a behavioral aide position for Sylacauga High School, effective immediately.

• Approved employment of Nate Brewer as a 10-month custodian at Indian Valley Elementary School, effective Jan.9, and Tharel Shirah as a four-hour tutor for Sunset School at SHS, effective Jan. 14.

• Approved the addition of Selena Felkins and Courtney Monnette to the 2012-2013 Textbook Committee for English/Language Arts.

• Approved the following for the 2013-2014 School Calendar Committee: Gerald Douglass, Terri Bentley, Leigh Hall, Cheryl Cummings, Theresa Williams, Leigh Poe, Rachael Glausier, Jamie Ledin, Donna Jones, Penny McKinney, LeAnn Rhodes, Sean Stevens, Libby Renn, Leslie Lucas, Melissa Lewis, Paula Hurt, Tiffany Steers, Tina Conn, Mandy Reams, Amy Waller and Heather Bennett.

The next regular board meeting is Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Office.

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© 2013