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Morgan County Schools system prepares for new superintendent

By Staff Reports

Morgan County Schools will have a new superintendent – and the post will be filled by the district’s first woman in the role, when one of two candidates is elected.

Eva School Principal Tracie Turrentine and Sparkman School Principal Layne Dillard will go head-to-head for the top position in May.

Superintendent Robert Elliott did not choose to seek a full term in the May 24 primary.

Elliott was appointed by the Morgan County school board in September 2020 after the resignation of Bill Hopkins Jr., who left to accept a position in Tennessee.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as superintendent of Morgan County Schools. While I look forward to continuing a role as an educator in Morgan County Schools, I am not seeking election for the superintendent post,” Elliott said in a statement.

“I got into education to teach and help kids, not be a politician,” he said. “Unfortunately, with being an elected superintendent, you have to be a politician and deal with state-level politics, which can create a conflict with doing what is best for the schools and the kids.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments we have been able to achieve during these times of such uncertainty by the support we have given our schools through additional money and technology, as well as additional staffing.

“I am confident that both Ms. Turrentine and Dr. Dillard will continue to support our schools through these efforts as well. I wish both of them the best of luck and know they have Morgan County Schools’ best interest at heart. I am proud they have chosen to run and carry the torch for Morgan County Schools not only as the superintendent but as Morgan County Schools’ first female superintendent.”

School board member Mike Tarpley said Morgan County Schools is in a good situation moving forward.

“(Mr. Elliott) has done a good job. I think it will be an easy transition, and we will be in good hands with either candidate,” he said.

“He has done a tremendous job. Our finances are in the best shape they have been in. He has made some good decisions where he needed to about cuts that are saving us money, and he’ll make some decisions before his term is over that will help us more.”

Tarpley added Elliott has good relationships with both Turrentine and Dillard and will be working with them through the transition.

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