The Piedmont Board of Education picked an interim school system superintendent Thursday.

Mike Hayes, director of operations for the system, is slated to take over the top job March 13 from current Superintendent Matt Akin. The board’s decision comes less than a month after the Huntsville Board of Education hired Akin as its new superintendent.

The Piedmont board unanimously picked Hayes during a called meeting Thursday.

“He’s familiar with the system and how everything operates,” Bruce Adderhold, board president, said. “With the situation we’re in, I think it’s best to name someone like him for an interim basis.”

The board didn’t vote on a new salary for Hayes, who will perform the superintendent’s job along with his current duties. The board will vote on his salary at an upcoming meeting, along with how it wants to search for a full-time superintendent, Akin said after the meeting.

Akin currently makes $153,000 a year working for a system serving roughly 1,200 students. He said that the board chose well in making Hayes interim superintendent.

“He’s been in this office longer than I have and is familiar working with people,” Akin said. “He also works regularly with me on budget decisions ... the board was wise to pick someone for the interim who works in the school system every day.”

Hayes started working for the school system 19 years ago as Piedmont High School’s head football coach. He’s been director of operations the last 15 years, a job that has him involved in nearly all operations of the school system. Among his titles are coordinator of federal programs, career technology director, child nutrition program supervisor and overseer of capital planning and maintenance projects.

“It’s going to be time-consuming, but I think it’ll be manageable,” Hayes said of doing his current job and being superintendent. “With the amount of experience I have, I think I have a good grasp of what’s going on.”

Akin, who has served as superintendent since 2003, said he plans to submit his resignation within a few days, at which point the board can officially start looking for his replacement. Akin said that according to state law, the board has 90 days to post the job opening. The opening must remain posted for at least 30 days. Also, the board will have 180 days from the time Akin resigns to hire a new superintendent, he said.

Akin said he’s given the board several options on how to find a new superintendent, including using an outside hiring firm, enlisting the board attorney to pick initial candidates or handling the entire search on its own.

“The board hasn’t gone through a search process for a superintendent in a long time,” Akin said. “That’s why I’ve been very tedious in telling them the options.”

Adderhold said the board didn’t have a timeframe on how long the search would take, but that the process would start soon after Akin’s resignation.

Staff Writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star