Huntsville City Schools selects interim superintendent, new vendor

Huntsville City Schools selects interim superintendent, new vendor
Christy Finley

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Huntsville City Schools board of education welcomed two new players to the table Thursday night.

First, they voted on a new vendor will employ nearly 30 percent of the system's employees. They voted to use PESG rather than stick with Appleton, their current vendor that employs staffers from cafeteria workers to special education aides.

PESG was a controversial choice that split the vote. The company's image has been tainted by several issues in the classroom. That and the concern over a nearly $4 an hour pay cut for special education aides took center stage.

Alabama law required the board to consider PESG because it had the lowest bid.

Inspired by the board's concerns as well as those in attendance, once the motion was passed, PESG's CEO announced he would match their current pay, which eliminates any pay cuts.

The other big vote Thursday night was that of an interim superintendent.

The board voted in Christy Finley. She is currently the school system's deputy superintendent of strategy and innovation.

"I'm shocked, I'm excited, honored. As always, I'm proud to be part of Huntsville City Schools," said Finley.

Finley was chosen over the current deputy superintendent in a 3-2 vote.

"I think at the end of the day, we all have to be mindful about it's not just the superintendent. It's a team. The faces are still the same and at the heart of the matter. What we're about are kids," she said about her new role.

Finley replaces Matt Akin, who leaves Huntsville City Schools on May 31 to take over as school superintendent in Gulf Shores. Finley will assume his role the next day.

The board has 180 days to find a permanent superintendent.

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