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Who are the five candidates selected for city schools superintendent – and why none are from Birmingham?

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Birmingham City School Board-Central Office (Google Maps)

By Barnett Wright

The Birmingham Times

Birmingham City School Board-Central Office (Google Maps)
Birmingham City School Board-Central Office (Google Maps)

The Alabama Association of School Boards announced on Tuesday, April 11, the five candidates it has selected for Birmingham City Schools’ superintendent.

The candidates are:

— Dr. Garrett L. Brundage, Rockdale County Public Schools in Georgia;

— Dr. Ronnie A . Dotson, Carter County School District of Kentucky;

— Dr. Timothy Gadson III, Robbinsdale Area Schools in Minnesota;

— Dr. Lisa N. Herring, Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky;

–Dr. Regina D. Thompson, Richland County School District One in South Carolina.

Each candidate will be interviewed at the Central office on Wednesday, April 19. These interviews will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be open to the public and livestreamed on the district website at www.bhamcityschools.org.

Following the final interview a survey will go live on the district website. Citizens are encouraged to use the survey to provide feedback on each candidate. The surveys will remain accessible on the district website through Friday, April 21 at 12 p.m.

Wardine Alexander, president of the Birmingham Board of Education, released a statement late Wednesday addressing criticism of the district’s selection process for superintendent.

None of the finalists are from Birmingham.

In her statement Alexander said, the Birmingham Board of Education agreed to hire the Alabama Association of School Boards in the fall of 2016 to conduct the district’s search for its next superintendent.

“The criteria and other requirements were posted to the district’s website. Applications for superintendent closed on March 17, 2017.  The AASB said that 61 people started the application process and 47 completed the application process. From that pool of 47 completed applications, the AASB reviewed the applicants and selected those individuals best fitting the criteria released by the school board . . . the selection process that the AASB used in selecting the five candidates for Birmingham City Schools is the same standard, selection process that is used by school boards across the country. As board members, we did not know the identity of any of the applicants. Nor, did we know how many applications were submitted by employees working for Birmingham City Schools or how many applications were submitted by those not connected to our school system.

Alexander added, “there are plans in place to continue with the selection process, which a majority of the school board agreed upon in the fall of 2016. To halt this process now and start over, would not give the five candidates AASB has already selected an opportunity to continue with a process that was previously established.”

The Birmingham City School board fired Superintendent Kelley Castlin-Gacutan in September, 2016. Dr. Larry Contri has been serving as interim superintendent.

Here are bios on each candidate selected as a finalist:

 

Dr. Garrett L. Brundage, Conyers, Georgia

Current Position:

Chief Officer Safe Schools/Student Affairs/Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services

Employer:

Rockdale County Public Schools, Georgia

Experience:

  • Chief Officer Safe Schools/Student Affairs/Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, Rockdale County Public Schools, Georgia, 20015–Present
  • Assistant Superintendent for Support Services, Rockdale County Public Schools, 2014–2015
  • Executive Director, Office of Support Services, Rockdale County Public Schools, 2009–2014
  • Director, Office of Support Services, Rockdale County Public Schools, 2007–2009
  • Coordinator, Office of Support Services, Rockdale County Public Schools, 2006–2007
  • Assistant Principal, Rockdale County High School, Rockdale County Public Schools, 2001–2006
  • Math Teacher, Putnam County High School, Putnam County Board of Education, Georgia, 1995–2001

Education:

  • Doctorate, Argosy University, Curriculum and Instructional Leadership
  • Education Specialist, Argosy University, Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master’s, Georgia College and State University, Administration and Supervision
  • Bachelor’s, Georgia Southern University, Mathematics

 

Dr. Ronnie A. Dotson, Grayson, Kentucky

Current Position:

Superintendent

Employer:

Carter County School District, Kentucky

Experience:

  • Superintendent, Carter County School District, Kentucky, 2011–Present
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Pikeville, 2014–Present
  • Adjunct Professor, Morehead State University, 2012–2015
  • Principal, Pike County School System, Kentucky, 1997–2001
  • Teacher, Pike County School System, 1988–1997

Education:

  • Doctorate, Morehead State University, Educational Leadership
  • Master’s, Morehead State University, Educational Leadership
  • Bachelor’s, Lee University, Elementary Education

 

Dr. Timothy Gadson III, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Current Position:

Superintendent Designee and Executive Director Curriculum and Schools

Employer:

Robbinsdale Area Schools, Minnesota

Experience:

  • Superintendent Designee and Executive Director Curriculum and Schools, Robbinsdale Area Schools, Minnesota, 2016–Present
  • Associate Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools, Georgia, 2014–2016
  • Director High School Operations, Austin Independent School District, Texas, 2012–2014
  • Chief Transformation Officer, Cambium Learning/NAEP, Florida
  • District Director of Secondary Curriculum, Principal and Assistant Principal, Palm Beach County School District, Florida, 2006–2010
  • Adjunct Professor, Grand Canyon University, 2010–2015
  • Principal, Broward County Public Schools, Florida, 2003–2006
  • Assistant Principal, Palm Beach County School District, Florida, 1993–2003
  • Teacher, Palm Beach County School District, 1993–1997

Education:

  • Doctorate, Washington State University, Educational Leadership
  • Master’s, Washington Start University, Educational Leadership
  • Bachelor’s, Florida A&M University, Business Economics and Secondary Education

 

Dr. Lisa N. Herring, Louisville, Kentucky

Current Position:

Chief Academic Officer

Employer:

Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky

Experience:

  • Chief Academic Officer, Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky, 2016–Present
  • Deputy Superintendent for Academics, Charleston County School District, South Carolina, 2014–2016
  • Chief Academic Officer, Charleston County School District, 2012–2014
  • Associate Superintendent for Instructional Support, Charleston County School District, 2011–2012
  • Executive Director for Student Support Services, Charleston County School District, 2009–2011
  • Director for Student Support Services, Bibb County School District, Georgia, 2006–2009
  • Assistant Director of Student Services, DeKalb County School District, Georgia, 2004–2006

Education:

  • Doctorate, Georgia Southern University, Educational Administration
  • Educational Specialist, University of South Carolina, Counselor Education
  • Master’s, University of South Carolina, School Counseling
  • Bachelor’s, Spelman College, English/Education

 

Dr. Regina D. Thompson, Blythewood, South Carolina

Current Position:

Chief of Teaching and Learning

Employer:

Richland County School District One, South Carolina

Experience:

  • Chief of Teaching and Learning, Richland County School District One; South Carolina, 2012–Present
  • Assistant Superintendent, Kansas Public Schools, Missouri, 2011–2012
  • Curriculum and Instruction, Title 1 Director, Lowndes County Public Schools, Alabama, 2010–2011
  • Principal, Montgomery Public Schools, Alabama, 2009–2010
  • Interim Deputy Superintendent, Montgomery Public Schools, 2008–2009
  • Principal, Montgomery Public Schools, 2005–2008
  • Adjunct Professor, Alabama State University, 2006–2008
  • Principal, Fairfield City Schools, Alabama, 2004–2005
  • Assistant Professor, Samford University, 2001–2004
  • Teacher, Homewood City Schools, Alabama; 1995–2001

Education:

  • Doctorate, Samford University, Educational Leadership
  • Educational Specialist, Samford University, Educational Administration
  • Master’s, Samford University, Educational Administration
  • Bachelor’s, Birmingham Southern College, Elementary Education