Top 6 Sylacauga superintendent candidates presented
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – The top six candidates for superintendent of Sylacauga City Schools were presented at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

After a month long application period that ended mid-April, the Alabama Association of School Boards received and reviewed 26 applications for the position being vacated by retiring Superintendent Renee Riggins. Applicants were narrowed based on input from board members, a community survey and other factors.

“We feel like this is a very well-rounded group of individuals with a variety of experiences,” AASB representative Kendy Behrends said. “We really won’t know who will be the best match until you get to know these people better.”

The recommended candidates, in alphabetical order, and their current positions are: Anthony Ball, director of operations for Scottsboro City Schools; Donald Dotson, assistant superintendent for Montgomery County BOE; Michael Freeman, principal at Auburn City Schools; William Holladay, director of alternative programs and athletics and principal for Oxford City Schools; Shannon Stanley, assistant superintendent for Lee County Schools; and Sharon Streeter, director of special education for Dallas County Schools.

Ball, who has master’s degrees in educational administration and health and physical education, served as a principal and assistant principal in Talladega County Schools from 1998 to 2004 before moving to Scottsboro schools, where he was a principal prior to taking his current job in 2007. Previously, he was a teacher in Anniston and Oxford City and Morgan County schools.

Dotson has been assistant superintendent since 2011 and was formerly director of logistics. He has also been a principal for Lowndes County and director of Career Tech for Montgomery County. Dotson has a master’s degree in special education and master’s certification in school administration and supervision.

Freeman, who holds a doctorate in administrative leadership, was previously the executive director of operations and services for Auburn City Schools from 2003 to 2010 and was a teacher and coach for Auburn schools from 1993 to 2003.

Holladay has held his current position since 2005 and has also been an assistant and head coach for Smiths Station High School, and a principal and athletic director for Lynn High and Elementary schools and Coffeeville High School. His education includes an educational specialist and master’s degrees in educational leadership.

Stanley, a doctor in instructional leadership, has been assistant superintendent for two years and was formerly a principal for Lee and Tuscaloosa County Schools and an assistant principal for Oxford City Schools and Tuscaloosa County Schools.

Lastly, Streeter’s experience includes principal and consultant for federal programs for Dallas County Schools and principal for the Department of Youth Services. She has doctorate and master’s degrees in educational leadership.

All candidates were notified of their recommendation status and none are currently involved in another superintendent search, Behrends said. Candidates will be publicly interviewed by the Sylacauga BOE in the coming weeks and a selection will likely be made by the end of May to allow for transition time before Riggins retires June 30.

AASB provided some additional statistics from the search. Of the 26 applicants, none were sitting superintendents, two were former superintendents and six are currently assistant superintendents. Six applicants were central office employees, eight were principals, and six were other positions such as military or teacher. Also of the applicants, 22 were from Alabama, three were from Georgia and one was from Florida. Twelve had a doctorate and 14 had a master’s degree.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the BOE:

• Voted 3-1 to renew the contract of Sylacauga High School Principal Matt Hubbard through July 30, 2016. Board member Tracey Allen voted against renewal and Steve Marlowe abstained.

• Approved a lunch price increase of 10 cents for students, 15 cents for staff and 25 cents for visitors beginning next school year. Lunch prices for paying students will be $2.35, $2.90 for staff and $4.25 for visitors. The increase is in accordance with federal law.

• Approved a change in the qualifications for the principal job description to denote a minimum of three years administrative experience is preferred, not required.

• Approved a $29,000 bid to Dixie Store Fixtures for renovation of the walk-in cooler at Indian Valley Elementary, to be paid with Child Nutrition Program funds.

• Approved retirement of Indian Valley instructional assistant Emma Jean Stone, Nichols-Lawson Middle media specialist Patricia Williams and SHS teacher Deborah Wade, all effective May 31.

• Approved resignation of Pinecrest Elementary extended day program teachers Laura Tatum and Barbara Murchison, and Nichols-Lawson dance team sponsor Beth Steers.

• Approved a new summer maintenance position.

• Approved employment of part-time technology assistant Chantz Embry, effective immediately and substitute teachers Kayla Butler, Latonical Wright and Linda Green, effective May 1.

• Approved the transfer of special education teacher Penny McKinney from Pinecrest to Nichols-Lawson, effective next school year; and of Jennifer Gallups from special education itinerant instructional assistant to special education instructional assistant at Nichols-Lawson, effective immediately.

• Approved bid extensions for next school year to Barber’s Dairy, Forestwood Farms and Flowers Baker.

• Approved non-renewal of an employee named on the personnel report addendum No. 1.

• Approved accounts payable, payroll and financial statements totaling $2,037,545 for March.

• Approved new tuition students Matthew Bryan, Mark Bryan, Cynthia Williams, Dahasia Williams and Trent Burks for the 2012-2013 school year.

• Approved the 2013-2014 school calendar.

• Approved policies for periodic budget amendments, gifts and bequests, records retention schedule, student transportation management, fidelity and local school finances.

• Was presented policies on contracts for certified personnel and grading system, to be voted on at the June meeting.

• Approved an out-of-state field trip for 15 SHS students to attend the FBLA leadership conference in Anaheim, Calif., June 26-July 1. The SHS FBLA chapter recently won Most Outstanding Chapter at the state conference.

• Approved summer school at SHS to include courses for credit recovery June 10-28, full courses June 5-July 26, and driver’s education June 3-27. Cost ranges from $100-$200.

• Entered into executive session to discuss the good name and character of an individual.

• Heard Riggins announce Nichols-Lawson has earned its business and industry certification and the SHS Focus program was named Focus School of the Year for the third consecutive year.

The next regular BOE meeting is May 21 at 5:30 p.m. at SHS Library.

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© 2013