Huntsville school board to announce interim superintendent - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Ex-Grissom principal Tom Drake elected interim HSV superintendent

Tom Drake (Source: Grissom High School) Tom Drake (Source: Grissom High School)
(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

The Huntsville City School board voted former Grissom High School principal Tom Drake as interim superintendent on Thursday evening.

The board accepted the resignation of Casey Wardynski shortly after convening Thursday evening. In his letter, Wardynski asked to serve in an advisory role.

“I just want to give back to the school system. They’ve been so good to me over the years,” said Drake.

The only hesitation brought up was that Drake's wife, Ann Drake, works in elementary education for Huntsville City Schools, but it was determined this does not constitute a conflict of interest.

READ MORE: Dr. Wardynski announces resignation

Drake has been with Huntsville City Schools for 50 years, most recently serving 13 years as Grissom High School's principal before retiring in 2013. Before Grissom, he served as principal of Challenger and Ed White middle schools as well as Johnson and Butler High School.

Drake said he wants to continue making strides in the district.

“I want to keep the direction of the school system already the way it's been established with the goals and direction, work with the board and see ho we're doing with that,” he said. “I definitely want to work with the DOJ, Department of justice relationship. I want that to work. I want the facilities to continue. Work with the faculty and teachers in this system to see that they are happy and the morale in the system works with that.”

He says he's excited to work with not only the school board and faculty, but parents too. He said he wants parent to be involved in their schools and PTAs and "be a voice" for their schools.

There a lot of speculation as to who the next permanent superintendent could be. As interim superintendent, Drake will not be considered for the permanent position.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Barbara Cooper said she's considering her options as a viable pick.

The school board was set to continue discussion over a contract modification involving private academy Pinnacle Schools immediately following the superintendent voting. The Pinnacle Schools decision was pulled from the agenda on Drake's recommendation.

Wardynski confirmed he is in a romantic relationship with the founder of Pinnacle Schools, and admits his position of superintendent would have presented a conflict of interest.

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