Departure of former Selma City School System administrators brings positive change

Published 3:25 pm Friday, July 4, 2014

The Selma City School System is now without three of its former leaders and that’s positive news.

Since taking over the school system at the start of 2014, acting superintendent Larry DiChiara has made sweeping changes to the Selma City School System.

The most recent changes were departures of former superintendent Gerald Shirley, curriculum coordinator Wanda McCall and testing coordinator Mamie Solomon.

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The news was truly unsurprising.

Immediately following the state intervention, Shirley was put on leave. McCall and Solomon soon followed.

As the intervention continued, it seems DiChiara was slowly working behind the scenes to dismiss the three. The official response from DiChiara was that the three weren’t fulfilling their professional duties. Though, it’s not hard to guess the reasoning, with sexual misconduct, test score modification and a disregard for instructional time being part of the intervention team’s findings.

It’s unclear how the three were dismissed from the system, as DiChiara declined to comment on the details of the dismissal. Though, he said all parties came to “an amicable agreement.”

Regardless, the dismissals mean a clean slate for the school system’s leadership. DiChiara and other members of the system should now focus on finding educators who are committed to improving the lives and intellectual prowess of students.

All previous reporting we’ve done show that DiChiara boosted the overall quality of Phenix City Schools while he served as superintendent.

Already, DiChiara is coming up with innovative ways to improve the system, such as transforming Byrd Elementary into a pre-school center.

Byrd experienced declining attendance over a number of years. The transition would keep Byrd School open.

As the intervention continues, we’ll look to DiChiara and his team to implement a quality curriculum.

Most importantly, we hope DiChiara finds educators to lead the school system once the intervention is complete.

Without a successful long-term plan, a state intervention is little more than a slap on the wrist.

It seems he has already found a few good leaders in Aubrey Larkin — the newly appointed principal of Selma High — Shayla McCray — the new principal of Clark Elementary and Tammy Major — as R.B. Hudson’s new principal.

DiChiara is cleaning house, but there’s still more work to do before the job is done.