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Reed resigns to join Hartselle

Mike Reed made it official, formally resigning his position as Superintendent of Education during Thursday night's Board of Education meeting. Reed will take a similar role with the Hartselle school system.

"I respectfully request to be released from my contract as Superintendent of Education effective April 30, 2005," Reed said, reading from a prepared statement. "I have seventeen and one-half vacation days. I would like to take these days beginning April 6, 2005, at noon. My official release day will be April 30, 2005. My last day of work will be April 6, 2005. After six years of continued progress in Butler County schools, I make this request for release so that I may move forward in my professional endeavors."

After the meeting Reed said he had enjoyed his service to the parents and students of Butler County, but it was time to move on.

"It's been a good ride," he said. I've really enjoyed working here and with the children of this county. My only prayer is that the children of Butler County will continue to grow and improve and I know they will."

Board president Frank Thigpen said he's sorry to see Reed go, and was complimentary of Reed's work for the school system.

"I think we will miss him," he said. "We've worked well together, but there's another (person) out there for us. Mike did a good job for us the six years he's been here."

In advance of Reed's official resignation, the board has been working on organizing a superintendent search, something they decided to do on their own during a work session Tuesday night.

"We've been working hard," Thigpen said. "The immediate concern is to find someone who will make a good interim (superintendent) and can get done what we need."

May and June are crucial months with teacher's contracts coming up for renewal where recommendations will need to be made to the board on teacher employment.

"I hope we can have a superintendent on board by then," Thigpen said. "I hope we don't have to go with an interim for more than 45 days."

Thigpen said his ideal criteria for an interim superintendent would be someone who had recently retired from a school system as a superintendent and someone who could be available quickly to work with Reed before he leaves.

The board is also developing a brochure to be used in the search process that lists qualifications, demographics and other facts and figures that would aid in the process.

Although they finally agreed to conduct the search for a new superintendent themselves, not all the board members were in favor of the idea at first. Board member Terry Williams said he would have preferred to use an outside consultant to help with the search.

"I'm occupied during the day with the elderly, so it's more of a time issue than anything," he said after the meeting.

Board members Joanne Peak and Billy Jones opted for the do-it yourself option.

"I personally don't want us to use a consultant," Peak said.

Jones agreed.

"We're very short on time and I would rather do it ourselves," he said. "I really think it's our obligation to make that decision, good or bad, we're accountable. It's not that I don't want input, but I'd rather have it before rather than after."

In conducting the search the board agreed, after consulting with board attorney Pete Hamilton, to let Peak and board member Linda Hamilton review the application packages to make sure each contained the required material asked for from applicants. They would do no screening of applicants and the board agreed to interview each candidate that applied for the position.

The job opening will be posted throughout the southeast and the board will interview candidates during several different meetings.

They set Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. for the date of their next work session where they will discuss the search process and plans to hire an interim superintendent.