County super finalists named
Three of the five finalists for the next county school superintendent are local principals.
The five were chosen from 12 applicants and are (in alphabetical order):
• Shannon Driver, Straughn High School principal;
• Dr. Mike Hall, Banks School principal;
• Craig Nichols, Pleasant Home School principal;
• Donny Powell, Florala High School principal; and,
• Dr. Craig Ross, Robertsdale High School principal.
The identity of the remaining seven applicants won’t be made public.
“I was pleased with the quality of the applicants,” said Hank Jones, consultant with the state school board association, the organization hired to assist the school board in the hiring process. “It actually made our task more difficult determining who we felt best met what (the board) asked for and the community survey indicated the county was looking for.”
Jones said the candidate vetting process is complete; however, it’s now up to the board to check candidate references.
“You need to probe all the candidates the same way; do the local candidates the same way you do the out-of-town candidates,” Jones said. “The scrutiny should be the same for all five candidates.”
Board member Lynda Powell then informed the board she was distantly related to two candidates – Nichols and Mr. Powell; however, after clarification, both Jones and board attorney Allen Woodard agreed the relationship was too distant for Powell to abstain from voting.
Board members then agreed on 16 candidate interview questions.
Those will now be forwarded for attorney approval.
An interview schedule will be announced at the end of the week, and the new superintendent on May 13.