Suspended school leaders reach agreement to leave system

Published 5:01 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Three Selma City School System leaders, suspended since February, are now officially no longer employed by the school system.

Former Selma Superintendent of Education Gerald Shirley, curriculum coordinator Wanda McCall and testing coordinator Mamie Solomon have all reached what is being called “an amicable agreement” to leave the system. The agreement removes the need for acting Selma Superintendent of Education Larry DiChiara, who is also the head of the state intervention team currently in charge of the Selma City School System, to pursue termination hearings.

According to officials, all parties involved had signed off on their individual agreements Wednesday.

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DiChiara said he was given legal advice to not discuss details of the agreement.

“This will allow us now to focus on moving forward and not have to look back,” DiChiara said.

Shirley, McCall, and Solomon were put on indefinite administrative leave in mid-February after the state intervention in the Selma City School System.

DiChiara recommended the school leaders be terminated in late April and announced in May that all three had requested a hearing. The hearings, scheduled for June, were delayed as the sides sought to reach an agreement.

When contacted by the Times-Journal Wednesday, Shirley declined to comment.

Attempts to reach McCall and Solomon were unsuccessful.

Selma City School Board president Henry Hicks Sr. said he’s confident the school system will continue to improve under the leadership of the state intervention team.

“I think we’re moving forward in the right direction,” Hicks said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

The Alabama State Board of Education voted unanimously in February to support State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice’s recommendation to take over the Selma City School System. The recommendation followed a lengthy investigation into the Selma system that revealed evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior, failure to enforce graduation requirement policies and a general disregard for instructional time.