- Cullman, Alabama

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May 11, 2014

Appt. superintendent could be named Monday night

Finalists interviews available online

It’s been a busy few months for the Cullman County Board of Education, but the search for a new appointed superintendent could come to an end Monday night.

After holding interviews and tours with five candidates in late April and early May, the board is holding a work session and meeting Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at the central office to discuss the options and hopefully make a decision.

Vinemont High School principal Dr. Brandon Payne, Lee County Schools director of student services and federal programs Dr. Jason Wright, Robertsdale High School Principal Dr. Craig Ross, Tuscaloosa City Schools assistant superintendent of curriculum Dr. Tena Elisabeth Davis and Northwest Georgia RESA principals’ center coordinator Dr. William Thompson McCown were the five finalists selected by the Alabama Association of School Boards and interviewed by the local school board.

All the interviews are now available to view in full online at the district’s official website (

School board president Chris Carter said the search has been an exciting experience, noting the board will have a tough task to whittle the list down to one or two options.

“The process has been great, the five candidates were all great options, and we’ll hopefully know more Monday night,” he said. “We’ll be able to talk about the candidates there and hopefully some more information can be arrived at there. It’ll be difficult because the candidates are all so good.”

The AASB conducted the search, vetted candidates and selected a list of five from a total of 22 applicants.

The minimum salary for the position is $115,000, with a final contract negotiable based on experience and demonstrated success.

Traits identified as the most important for potential applicants include a demonstrated ability to raise achievement, strong instructional leadership skills, ability to lead the administrative team and evaluate personnel and programs effectively, a record of accomplishments in the candidate’s current position, strong financial management skills, a strong work ethic, and a passion for education and leading and a commitment to treating stakeholders with fairness and respect.

All those points were developed from in-person interviews and an online survey conducted by the AASB, which saw more than 700 people participate.

The board plans to take all those metrics into account when making its decision.

Current superintendent Billy Coleman, who has volunteered to retire from his elected position to make way for the appointed superintendent under the newly created system, is set to retire July 1. Coleman and the school board petitioned the state legislature to make the change to an appointed superintendent, noting they believed it would be in the best interest of the system.

The new superintendent would start on July 1, matching up with Coleman’s planned retirement date.

Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 134.

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