Cullman chooses another, Reed moves up in Hartselle

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dr. Mike Reed, Butler County School Superintendent, fell out of the race to be the next Cullman City School superintendent on Wednesday, when that system elected to go with Janet I. Harris.

Harris is principal of Huntsville High School.

Meanwhile, in the Hartselle City School system, a search committee ranked Reed second to Harris.

The Cullman School Board chose Harris over five other finalists last Wednesday.

Reed interviewed in a public forum the Tuesday night before.

Hartselle School Board chairman Ronnie Abercrombie said Friday he had not received a request from Harris to remove her name from consideration.

Once that happens, Reed moves from his second place ranking to first place.

"If what I have read and heard is accurate, I expect that to happen,"

Abercrombie added. "The process we have put in place to find a new superintendent will continue to move forward and we will seek out the best possible available candidate for the position."

The school board plans to meet Dec. 9 to set up procedures for the interview phase and to decide which ones of the remaining candidates it wants to interview.

Those interviews will take place most likely after the New Year.

News that Reed is up for a third interview within a year does not bode well with some parents.

As noted he interviewed previously in Cullman and also in Sylacauga.

Beth Pierce said her personal dealing with Reed over a matter with her child last year left her disillusioned with him.

"I wasn't pleased with the way he handled the Confederate flag issue," she said.

"He did not deal with it in a fair manner."

Pierce said she felt like during her meeting with Reed, the principal and the teacher involved, that she believed they didn't listen to anything she had to say.

"They had made up their mind before we ever walked into the room," she said.

Now, that he is interviewing again, she said he needs to go.

"I think we need someone who can better handle situations like we had last year and act fairly," she said.

"If Dr. Reed wants to go, then he needs to go.

Obviously, from what he has said in interviews elsewhere, he is not happy here, so he needs to go where he is happy."

Sally Carolyn echoed Pierce's sentiments.

"I think he is demonstrating that he doesn't want to be here," she said.

I think that he has his priorities mixed up.

His focus can't be on the children when he is off interviewing.

He is putting his career first and not the children of this county."

Carolyn said she also hopes this isn't a ploy to get a contract extension or pay raise.

"When you hear that he is off interviewing somewhere, it makes you kind of wonder if he is doing to get more money here," she said.

"If that is the case, we are always being told how short the funds are in the school system, so before he is offered a raise, they should put that money back in the schools first.

I wish I had a base salary of $97,000 a year. I need his job."

The Advocate tried to contact Reed at his office on Tuesday, but was he was unavailable for comment.