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Board weighs top school job

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle School Board has completed the interview phase in its search for a new superintendent and could act to fill the position at its next regular meeting at Hartselle High School today.
After interviewing Joanne Horton of Foley for the position on Thursday, Jan. 20, the board agreed to start its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. The extra half hour will be used to review the merits of all six interviewees and try to reach a consensus on which candidate is best suited to lead the school system.
The same 56 questions have been asked of all six candidates. During the process, board members have graded the candidates on their responses to each question; however, the results have been kept confidential.
"The interview process has gone smoothly with all board members participating. Plus, we have six well-qualified candidates from which to choose," said Ronnie Abercrombie, board chairman.
"At this point I don't see the need to interview anyone else. I'm optimistic that we'll be able to reach a decision at our next meeting."
Horton has degrees from the University of North Alabama and the University of Mississippi.
She is enrolled in a doctoral program with Nova Southeastern University and expects to complete it next summer. She is currently employed by the Baldwin County school system as an assistant principal at Foley and Gulf Shores Elementary Schools and as director of the system's migrant summer program.
Horton is one of three candidates with experience as a superintendent. She served as superintendent of a school system in Fleming, Colo., from 1999 to 2000.
Earlier, interviews were conducted with William Booth, a math teacher and head baseball coach at Hartselle High School and transportation director for Hartselle City Schools; Joe Walters, principal of Crestline Elementary School; Jeremy Jones, chief learning officer for the Morgan County School District; William M. Reed, superintendent of Butler County Schools; and William D. Burns, superintendent of Geneva County Schools.
A goal of the school board is to have a new superintendent in place not later than March 1, the effective date of the retirement of Superintendent Dr. Lee Hartsell.
For complete coverage of the school board's decision, see
Friday morning