Richardson out of superintendent’s race

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 3, 2008


Russell County Schools got a new superintendent to start the New Year. Selma City Schools did not.

Dr. Yvette Richardson, who schools officials here were split over with Dr. Donald Jefferson, was scheduled to begin her first day on the job in Russell County on Wednesday.

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By taking the $120,000 a year job to head the east-central Alabama school system, Richardson may have cleared the way for school officials here to hire Jefferson, who board members voting for him last month said the community wanted.

Then again, it may not be that simple.

Selma City BOE chairman John Williams, who voted for Jefferson, could not be reached Wednesday for comment. Former chairman Ben Givan, who voted for Richardson, said he was of the opinion it was back to the drawing board.

The 11-member school board, with three vacancies, hired a search firm that delivered a slate five finalists. Four were interviewed publicly. One withdrew prior to interviews.

Board members decided to vote on Richardson and Jefferson, when the 4-4 deadlock occurred.

Parents had urged the Selma City Council, which appoints the school board, to appoint three new board members to help bread the tie. School board attorney Katy S. Campbell said the Selma BOE has options.

Dr. Verdell L. Dawson continues to serve as interim superintendent. The school board voted 7-1 naming her to the post, during the same March 2007 meeting the board accepted Dr. James Carter’s resignation.

Carter had served 17 years as the head of Selma City Schools.

According to Russell County Schools, Richardson will be paid $95,000 a year, with a $12,000 annual automobile allowance, and a $2,000 one-time moving allowance. Her contract is for 2 1/2 years.