Community deserves superintendent, not interim

Published 7:26pm Tuesday, July 30, 2013

While we’re glad the Dallas County Board of Education chose an interim superintendent to take the lead after Dr. Fannie McKenzie steps down, we encourage the board to appoint a permanent leader sooner rather than later.

Dallas County Schools, more than ever, needs a strong, dedicated leader to support the school system and recover from several schools falling under the “failing” category by the Alabama Board of Education.

We’re confident current assistant superintendent Don Willingham will be able to carry the system through the rest of the 2013-2014 year, but would like to see him in a permanent role rather than a temporary one.

In their meeting Monday, board member Roy Edwards expressed his concern for the motion to vote for an interim superintendent, rather than an official one.

“People applied, people interviewed, people prepared and the public is ready for this board to name a superintendent, not an interim,” Edwards said, addressing the board. “It’s going to be very confusing and people are not going to know who’s in charge.”

Edwards’s concerns, we believe, should be met with action. While having a temporary person fill the role of superintendent is a step in the right direction, our school leaders can’t keep the community in limbo for long. The community deserves to have the peace of mind that our county school system is being led by one person who has education and the well-being of our students in mind.

Five quality applicants were interviewed for the position — including Willingham — and we believe that out of those five candidates stands our next leader for Dallas County Schools. In the coming weeks—not months—we hope the board takes strong strides in coming to a solid consensus on who the next superintendent of Dallas County Schools should be.

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