- Cullman, Alabama

May 15, 2013

Public meeting for city schools’ superintendent search today

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

— The search for the next Cullman City Schools superintendent is taking a major step forward today, and local citizens can have their voice heard at a day-long community meeting with school officials.

The six-session meeting is open to everyone from school employees to the public at large, and will consist of a lengthy question-and-answer session led by a search consultant at the central office.

“Our consultant will be present, and she will ask a series of questions to get feedback from the different groups and stakeholders about what they’re looking for in a superintendent,” school board president Suzanne Harbin said. “This meeting will provide a chance for people to express, at length, what they’re looking for and how that person needs to fit into our community.”

A community session will be held from 8:30-9:30 a.m.; school and system administrators will meet from 9:45-10:45 a.m.; public officials will meet from 11: 30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.; support staff will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m.; certified staff will meet from 4:45-5:45 p.m.; and a second community meeting will be held from 5:45-6:45 p.m. The information from these sessions will be compiled into a report given to the school board.

The superintendent’s seat is being vacated by Dr. Jan Harris, who is retiring after more than eight years in the position.

Harbin said the first phase of the search has gone well, and she believes the contracted search firm with the Alabama  School Board Association (ASBA) has received substantial interest in the weeks it has been open.

“They’ve indicated there has been some good interest, though they had said initially our search timeline was at end of the ‘search season’ where sitting superintendents might be looking for other positions to move up,” she said. “But, based on what we’ve heard, they’re getting good inquiries and we should have some good candidates to choose from.”

Potential 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 is 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.

If a suitable candidate is found during the process, the board plans to announce the new hire on July 16 with a tentative start date of September 1. The board would likely offer a 3-5 year contract.

Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.