PCBOE has just 1 applicant for top job so far
by David Atchison
PELL CITY — With the job posted for more than half of the 30 days required by law, only one person has applied for the school superintendent’s job.

“The pool is not as deep as people may think,” current Pell City Schools Superintendent Bobby Hathcock said.

He said Thursday the school board continues to get inquiries about the position, but has not received any new job applications.

The soon-to-be vacant job was posted after Hathcock announced his retirement for July 1.

The first day the job was posted on the School System’s and the School Superintendents of Alabama’s websites, Assistant Superintendent Michael Barber applied for the job.

“Michael is bright and a hard worker,” Hathcock said Thursday. “I think Michael is certainly qualified. Michael would be an attractive candidate (for superintendent) in a lot of places. He has all the tools to be successful.”

Hathcock said Barber knows the School System and the community knows Barber, so there is not as much of a learning curve as with someone stepping into the job from another place to a new school system and community.

“He is well respected by the people here,” Hathcock said, adding that Barber would make an excellent superintendent. “That’s my opinion, but I think I’ve earned the right to my opinion.”

Ultimately, he said, it is the school board’s decision.

“It’s the board’s call; I’m out of this,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to support this School System.”

Hathcock said this is the first time he has been involved with a superintendent search, and he has always been on the other side of the search.

“This School System is good,” he said. “It’s on solid ground. I don’t see that changing.”

Hathcock talked about the qualities superintendent candidates must possess.

“The most important thing, they must have good people skills,” Hathcock said. “That’s what you do, you manage people.”

He said the superintendent must also deal with parents and the public.

“The second most important thing a superintendent must have is common sense,” Hathcock said. “And third, a good work ethic. You have to have someone willing to surround themselves with good people.”

He said there are still two weeks remaining for the job posting.

Hathcock said he is only the caretaker of the applications. The decision of who will be the next superintendent for the Pell City School System rests squarely with the board.

Hathcock said he hopes the board makes its decision sooner rather than later so there is an adequate transition period for the new superintendent.

He said he was not sure what the board would do if the School System ends up with just one applicant for the job.

“There could be a flurry of applications at the end,” he said. “We still have two weeks.”

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

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. He is a 1983 graduate of Pell City High School.

Barber earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ed. S. 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.

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 since.

Barber is also pastor of Mount Zion Freewill Baptist Church in Pell City. He served as associate pastor for the church for about 10 years before becoming the church’s pastor in 2007.

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

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

© 2013