Meet the new superintendent of Cullman City Schools: Dr. Doreen Griffeth.
After a marathon of interviews last week, the city school board voted unanimously Wednesday morning to offer the current Cobb County, Ga. area assistant superintendent the position.
Griffeth and Madison County Director of Secondary Education Dr. Sandra Spivey were the top two options, from a list of five finalists and 36 total applicants.
Griffeth has served as area assistant superintendent in Cobb County for two years, and before that worked as a principal for 10 years at Shallowford Falls Elementary and Rocky Mount Elementary in Cobb County. She started her career as a music and special education teacher.
The board is negotiating Griffeth’s contract now, and hopes to officially announce a start date in the coming weeks.
School board president Suzanne Harbin noted Griffeth’s experience as an assistant superintendent in a system much larger than Cullman as one of her strongest attributes, along with the fact that Cobb County is regarded as one of the best systems in the nation.
“In a lot of ways, she is already where we want to be. I feel like she can take us and move us even further than where Cobb County is right now,” she said. “She talked a lot about having a strategic plan, where the system has a strategic plan and the school has a plan. But, her plan is built on the principals’ plan, so it’s a constant flow of information. I love the structure she can bring to our school system.”
Board member Brenda Howell agreed that Griffeth’s experience will be an asset, noting she already has duties comparable to a superintendent in her current job.
“She serves in a superintendent-like position now, and the buck stops with her in regards to the schools she manages,” she said.
When contacted by The Times on Wednesday, Griffeth said she looks forward to starting work and becoming a part of the Cullman community.
“I’m absolutely excited to become a part of Cullman City Schools, and to work with such a fabulous board,” she said. “I appreciate their confidence in me, and hope to bring value to your system and keep the great things going on that are already present in Cullman City.”
Griffeth said her management experience in her district should translate well into the Cullman area.
“I’m coming from a very high-performing system, and you have high performing schools, so it’s a good fit,” she said. “There’s a nice feeder pattern, and it’s very exciting to think I could help them vertically and keep moving. I’m used to working in a high-performing system and setting goals to keep improving.”
Outgoing superintendent Dr. Jan Harris said she has the utmost faith in the board’s decision, and she believes the next few years will take the system to even greater heights. During Harris’ eight-year tenure, the system rose from 11th in the state to second in several test score categories.
“I appreciate the board members for allowing me to grow, make mistakes, and for having the grace to bear with me,” Harris said. “They’ve enabled me to be the best I can be in this position. None of those things could’ve happened without the support of the board. I honestly believe the best days are yet to come, and I believe that with all of my heart. I look forward to welcoming the new superintendent very much.”
Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.
Check out Griffeth’s full interview in the video below:
Check back later in the day, and in Thursday’s edition of The Times, for more information.
‰ Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.