With the system now ranked among the best in Alabama, Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris has announced her intent to retire from the position she has held for the past seven years to spend more time with her family. She plans to at least finish the current school year, and likely step down at some point in 2012.
Harris was recently named The Times’ 2010 Distinguished Citizen, and under her leadership a systemwide technology initiative has been recognized among the most innovative in the nation. The system is also among the top five in the state in several standardized testing categories.
“Serving as superintendent of Cullman City Schools has been the pinnacle of my career,” Harris said. “The way I started the conversation with [school board members] Mr. Sides and Ms. Harbin was that I love Cullman City Schools, and I love Cullman — but I love my husband and my family more.”
Harris’ tenure in Cullman began in 2005, after serving as principal at Huntsville High School from 2000-2004. She began her career in education as a math teacher in South Carolina, then Huntsville in the 1980s.
Considering that her parents are from Florence — her father is mayor of the city — and her husband works in Huntsville, Harris said her retirement will cut down on driving and afford her more time with her family.
“I was thinking about the priorities in my life and realized that right now I have the perfect window of opportunity to spend time with my family,” she said. “We spend a lot of time in the triangle between Cullman, Florence and Huntsville right now.”
Read more about local reaction and the school board's plan for the future in the Friday, September 23, 2011 print edition of The Cullman Times or subscribe to the E-edition and have it emailed to you.