By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times
Whoever the next superintendent of the Cullman City Schools’ system turns out to be, the person is likely included on a list of applications that are currently being vetted by a search committee in Montgomery.
The deadline to apply for the Cullman City Schools superintendent opening passed on Friday, June 7, and the search committee will spend the next week sorting through the applicants with a goal of whittling it down to a list of approximately five candidates that will be presented to the board on June 18.
The contracted search firm at the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) will not announce the amount of applicants until June 18, though school board president Suzanne Harbin said she has been told there are numerous options.
“We had an above-average number of applicants, and we were told there are some well-qualified candidates in the applicant pool,” she said. “I believe the right candidate is out there for our system, and with a strong applicant pool, I feel like we’ll have some good avenues. I’m looking forward to hearing the names of the finalists and meeting them the following week.”
Outgoing Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris is set to retire on September 1 after more than eight years at the helm to spend more time with her family, and the school board hopes to name her replacement by mid-July to make for a smooth transition.
“We anticipate naming someone at the July board meeting, which would give them time to close out and give notice to their current employer,” Harbin said. “Then, Dr. Harris has agreed to let that person shadow her until she retires.”
All applicants must be a graduate of an accredited four-year college, hold an Alabama certificate in administration and supervision, have three years of successful education experience and have no less than five years of experience in a public school setting.
The position has been listed with a starting annual salary of $135,000, though the final pay scale will depend on the level of experience.
Board members hope to have a list of at least five potential candidates by June 18, and conduct public interviews from June 25-28. Those interviews will also be recorded and posted online for any community members who are unable to attend. The exact schedule will be announced soon.
If a suitable candidate is found during the process, the board plans to announced the new hire on July 16 with a tentative start date of September 1. The board would likely offer a 3-5 year contract.
Ideally, the board would like to avoid having an interim superintendent, though Harbin said all options would be on the table if the initial round of interviews fail to find a suitable candidate.
* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.