Hines named president-elect of state council

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 31, 2015

Sonja Hines is a lifelong learner.

Hines, Andalusia City Schools’ special education director and district administrator, has been elected as the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools’ president-elect for 2015-2016.



Each year, some 3,500 administrators from across the state elect a new class president.

Hines said the president elect serves a three-year term on the CLAS Board of Directors. She’ll be the incoming CLAS president this coming year, the president during the 2016-2017 year and the outgoing president the year after. Her election was announced at the CLAS Convention on June 17.

“It’s a definitely an honor,” Hines said. “It’s a challenge. I’m a lifelong learner. This is just another educational learning opportunity to me.”

Since 1969, CLAS focuses on children, while providing high quality professional development and other needs for school and school system administrators. CLAS serves 11 different affiliate organizations representing each type of administrator in Alabama’s public schools and school systems.

Hines said she was one of two people nominated for the presidency.

“A ballot was sent all over the state,” she said. “We had to send in our resume.”

As a part of the CLAS Board of Directors, Hines will go and listen to different legislative items all about education. The board will vote on such items and give feedback based on the schools she works with.

Additionally, Hines will attend regular board meetings.

Hines has been in education for 25 years. Her first dose of education work came as part-time help as a secretary for ACS. She worked with community education, at-risk, after school program, special education and a plethora of other programs and responsibilities.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in speech/language impairments, a master’s degree in special education, school psychometry and educational administration, and an education and specialist’s degree in special education.

Before earning her multiple degrees, Hines went straight to work right after high school. She worked in the classified and retail advertising departments at The Andalusia Star-News.

“I learned a lot about publishing and layout and an opening came open, and I started working with (former East Three Notch principal) Kim Dyess,” she said.

While working part time, Hines went to college.

“I kept on pursuing degrees, advancing in education and my professor at (Auburn University-Montgomery) encouraged me to go into education leadership,” she said. “I kept on building. I really worked from the ground up.”