Super search goes far
Stephanie Nelson &
The Brewton Standard
As Brewton continues its search for a new city school superintendent, the city also has ties to at least one other system search in the state.
The Luverne Journal, The Brewton Standard’s sister paper, is reporting that one Brewton City School employee is in the running for Crenshaw County superintendent, while two others interviewing for Brewton’s position is on the list.
James “David” Jones, Brewton’s director of BCS programs, was announced Thursday as one of six finalists for the Crenshaw County post.
Jones, who has worked for Brewton for nearly two years, also served as director of special education for at-risk students in Sheffield City Schools.
Jones said he was honored to be among the Crenshaw County candidate pool.
“I love Brewton and my students here,” Jones said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to gain additional professional experience in a rural county setting.”
There are three K-12 schools in the Crenshaw County system, which serves approximately 2,000 students.
Locally, the board will make a decision on Brewton’s next superintendent Thursday. The new hire will replace Superintendent Lynn Smith, who will retire in July after 36 years with the system.
For more than a week, school board officials have interviewed candidates. Tuesday marked the final interview.
Monty K. Aldrich, superintendent of the North Clay CUSD in Louisville, Ill., interviewed last Monday.
With his highest education level of a master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University, Aldrich has also served as a principal, grants director, teacher and coach.
Aldrich described himself as a “straight-shooter” who is compassionate and committed to those in his system.
“What you see is what you get,” he said. “I don’t know the other five candidates. I can provide you with trust. If I come (to Brewton), I am going to be committed.
“I am impressed with the interest that you have here,” he said. “I am who I am. I am comfortable in a setting like this. I have researched the area and I have had to do my homework. It is nothing like choosing a school for your kids. It is vitally important.
Aldrich, who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and played in the minor leagues and also served as a scout for the Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks, is married with two kids.
Dr. Boyd English, Charles Henderson High School principal, interviewed last Tuesday. English, who is also in the running for the Crenshaw County superintendent position, earned a doctorate degree from Georgia Southern University as his highest level of education. He has served as a principal, dean of students, assistant principal and social studies teacher throughout his career.
Dr. Carla Evers, director of instructional programs for the Gulfport, Miss., School District, interviewed Wednesday. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and has also served as a director of instructional programs, principal and teacher. She described her self as someone passionate about education who likes to “work hard on the right things.”
When asked why she wanted to become Brewton’s next superintendent, she said, “I had the opportunity to Google Brewton, to learn about the city. The first thing I thought was, ‘Why not go to Brewton?’
“Then I dug deeper and I saw the success the district has had, and I said, ‘Why not go to Brewton?’” she said. “I am excited to have this opportunity. You all have done an amazing job with this district and it shows. I want to be a part of that success.”
Also running for the Crenshaw County is former Fayette County superintendent Wade A. Shipman. Shipman, who was defeated in the last election, interviewed in Brewton Thursday. He earned a master’s degree from the University of West Alabama and Mississippi State University. He has served also as an assistant principal, teacher and district technology coordinator.
Shipman described himself as a “true collaborator” who, if hired, would not seek to make immediate changes.
“If you’re looking for some one to come in and make changes for the sake of change, that’s not what I do,” he said. “If you want someone to become a member of this community, to go to football games and tennis games, PTO or walk-throughs, or to collaborate with people, I’m that person.
“I’m of the thought that of don’t fix it if it’s not broken,” he said. “Your system is not broken. I would want to continue the good work that is being done here.”
On Monday, Dr. Kenneth Varner of Tallassee interviewed as the fifth candidate.
Varner, an Evergreen High School graduate, came to Tallassee in 1995 as the agri-science Technology Education teacher.
An Auburn graduate, Varner also possesses a doctorate in education degree from Alabama State University and has also served as an assistant principal and principal. Named Tallassee City Schools superintendent in 2012, Varner described himself as a “self-made man,” a good communicator who is strong in finances with a “passion” for education. He said believed Brewton City Schools “is a great fit” for his family.
“I see Brewton as something my family can come and be part of,” Varner said. “I see a school system on the right track. My background is an opportunity to get off to an exciting and fast start. I understand what Brewton City Schools means to the community.”
Kyle S. Kallhoff, superintendent of the Chickasaw City Board of Education in Mobile, was the last to interview. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Alabama and has also served as a technology trainer, assistant superintendent and testing and data specialist.
Board members will vote Thursday at 5 p.m. on the new hire.