Search about to start for new Huntsville school superintendent - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Search about to start for new Huntsville school superintendent

(Source: WAFF 48 News) (Source: WAFF 48 News)
(Source: WAFF 48 News) (Source: WAFF 48 News)
(Source: WAFF 48 News) (Source: WAFF 48 News)

The Huntsville city school system needs a new leader. The current superintendent resigned to take the top job in Gulf Shores.

So what's next?

The Board of Education is laying out the timeline when it comes to the search for his replacement. They have six months to find someone qualified for the position.

Board members approved Dr. Matt Akin’s resignation during their meeting last week. It's effective the last day of May.

“So our 180 day clock to fill the position starts June 1st which puts us at November 30th as the last day we have. We need to hire an interim to run the ship while we're looking for someone. The board will decide if we are going to conduct the search ourselves or if we are going hire a search firm or if we will use a consulting agency to help us locate a new superintendent,” explained Elisa Ferrell, president of the board.

The school board will be talking about an interim superintendent this coming week.

“We have to decide if we want someone who is an internal candidate or if we want to find someone outside the school system,” Ferrell said.

As for the position of superintendent, it's a big job in a large school system.

“We have a $260 million budget. We have 2,000 employees, probably another 2,000 contract employees with 24,000 students and we're a very diverse system undergoing a consent order with the federal government so there's a lot going on in Huntsville and you need a very adept person at the helm,” Ferrell stated.

Dr. Akin brought a different approach to Huntsville, adding a human touch with teachers. It's something leaders want to see continue. 

“One of the things we've just done is the three year roll out of a raise that will make us the highest paid system in Madison County,” Ferrell said.

If a teacher is nationally board certified, they can earn $5-10,000 more in their salary. Local organizations have donated to pay for training to get the certification. Ferrell says that helps provide quality teachers top provide quality education for students.

“He does a lot of innovative things. We hate to see him go. I've enjoyed working with him. We're excited for him and I'm looking forward to the future in Huntsville,” Ferrell added about Akin.

“We need a combination of someone who is adept at handling a large school system, especially with the demands that we have with the Department of Justice as well as the diversity in our system. We need someone to help us meet all of those needs. We're looking for someone who is fluent in public education and who can take us to the next level,” she said.

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