Driver named county super

Published 12:55 am Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Straughn High School principal Shannon Driver is the county school system’s new superintendent.

School board members deliberated in closed session for less than 30 minutes in a special called meeting Tuesday before voting unanimously to hire Driver.

Driver was among a five-member candidate pool, which also included Florala High School principal Donny Powell and Pleasant Home principal Craig Nichols. Driver has served as the SHS principal since 2007.

Board member Jeff Bailey said he believed Driver “has the confidence” to lead the system.

“We had an incredible pool to choose from,” Bailey said. “I look forward to a long-term relationship with Mr. Driver.”

Board member Lynda Powell said the decision was made for her as she began checking candidate references.

“I asked a person if there was anyone else I could call to get a reference on (Driver) and she gave the name of two of our other candidates,” Powell said. “She said she thought that because at conferences, the two always looked to (Driver) for leadership. That says a lot.”

Via telephone after the meeting, Driver said he’s excited and “looking forward to the challenge.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be called on to serve in this capacity,” he said. “I know it’s a big job, and I’ve got lots to learn. There’s good people in this system and lots of good resources to help.”

Driver said he believes the system is headed in the right direction and doesn’t plan to make any big changes soon.

“It’s a matter of getting on the job and seeing what challenges arise,” he said. “I plan to focus on teaching, continuing the fine tradition we already have in place and always look for ways to improve.”

Board members Jimmy Rogers and Sonny Thomasson are tasked with negotiating Driver’s salary.

Driver will begin as superintendent the first week of June. He will step into a position currently held by Terry Holley, and previously by Driver’s father, Ronnie Driver, who retired in 2006.

It is unknown who will replace Driver as SHS principal.

The board will meet on Wed., May 22, at noon, to finalize personnel for the next school year.