Barber applies for school system's top job
by David Atchison
PELL CITY – Assistant Superintendent Michael Barber has applied for the top job within the school system.

Barber applied for the soon-to-be vacant superintendent’s job after current Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hathcock announced his retirement.

The School Board officially accepted Hathcock’s retirement request and posted the vacant job position last week. Hathcock will officially retire from the school system July 1.

Barber applied for the position the day the position was publicly posted and advertised on the school system’s and the School Superintendents of Alabama’s websites.

So far, Barber is the only person who has applied for the superintendent’s job, but it is still early.

“We have had some calls about the position,” Hathcock said Thursday, but he said the school system has not received any additional job applications. “Of course it’s only been a week…I really don’t know what to expect.”

He said by posting the job on the School Superintendents of Alabama’s website, the position is widely advertised.

“That gets it out nationally, certainly state-wide,” Hathcock said.

He said there is a shortage of school superintendents.

The superintendent’s job will remain posted for 30 days and possible candidates have until Feb. 21 to apply for the job.

“At the end of the posting, we’ll turn over all the applications we have received to Board President Tammie Williams and the board will do their thing,” Hathcock said. “We’re just the caretakers of the applications.”

Barber grew up in the Pell City School System and is the first former Pell City student to ever apply for the system’s top job.

Barber was a 1983 graduate of Pell City High School.

“I respectfully request that you accept this letter as my formal intent to apply for the position of Superintendent of the Pell City School System,” Barber wrote in his application letter dated Jan. 23.

The board has Barber’s complete personnel record and all application information on file.

Barber earned his bachelor’s, master’s and EDS degrees from Jacksonville State University. He also has a doctorate in ministry from Temple Baptist Seminary.

Barber has worked in education for 24 years. He started his teaching career as a fourth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School and then Stemley Elementary School.

Barber was promoted to assistant principal at Drew Middle School in the Talladega County School System, before becoming principal in 1997 at Iola Roberts Elementary School in Pell City.

He was promoted to assistant superintendent of the Pell City school system in 2001 and has held that position ever since.

Barber is also the pastor of Mount Zion Freewill Baptist Church in Pell City. He served as the associate pastor for the church for about 10 years before becoming the church’s pastor in 2007 after long-time pastor Brother J.D. Wales died unexpectedly.

Barber and his wife Legay, who is a court reporter for St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Seay, have been married 26 years.

The couple has two daughters, Hillary, 22, who is in the pharmacy program at Auburn University, and Madison, 18, who is a freshman at Auburn University.

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© 2013