TALLADEGA -- Dr. Donna King is the next superintendent of the Talladega City Board of Education.
Board member Shirley Simmons-Sims made the motion Mondaye evening to name King to the position, and was seconded by board member Elizabeth Smith. The motion passed unanimously with no discussion.
The board interviewed three finalists for the job, including King, Thursday.
The superintendent’s position was not originally listed on Monday’s board meeting agenda, but was included in an amended version approved during the meeting.
King told the board that she began her career teaching government and economics in Tuscaloosa for advanced high school students. After completing her doctorate at the University of Alabama, she helped start an alternative school in Tuscaloosa that served between 125 and 175 students at any given time. The program there included not only core instruction but also vocational and career-tech classes, art therapy, counseling and social work, a library, child nutrition and all the other amenities of a regular school.
After getting married and moving to Talladega, she was offered a job as personnel manager-human resources director at International Enterprises. She also worked with an architect in constructing a new building and as facilities security officer, handled numerous classified documents and directed Occupational Safety and Health Administration matters. The first computer system was installed there during this time as well.
She returned to education in the Talladega County system and spent nine years at the Genesis alternative school before moving to the central office, where she has been for the past seven years. At Genesis, she was able to wrangle a grant through Cheaha Mental Health for counseling services that helped not only the students there, but also their families.
King is the wife of Talladega County Circuit Judge Julian King. Her husband and both of her children graduated from Talladega High School, she said.
She was not present during Monday’s meeting.
At the end of the meeting, outgoing superintendent Doug Campbell offered his congratulations and wished his successor well.
Board chairwoman Juanita Curry McClellan thanked everyone who had been following the lengthy selection process. “It has not been easy,” she said. “We have struggled. We have been looking for the best superintendent of education for our children, but not for a miracle worker. … I ask everyone to understand, this job requires everyone’s participation. It’s up to all of our stakeholders, not just one person. What is accomplished will not be measured tomorrow or next week, but will be carried forward for years to come, maybe after all of us are gone. We need to remember when those children are crossing our doors, they are 2,000 opportunities for success.”
Also Monday, the board:
O Presented retirement gifts to Pam Akers (six years), Catherine Keith (30 years), Laura Hendrix (30 years), Ada Joann Deese (29 years), Lee Roy Hill (24 years), Willie Jemison (28 years), Odelle Sims (16 years), Barbara Tanner (14 years), Nathaniel Ashley (32 years), Harold Fowler (19 years), Henry Ashley (30 years), Suzanne McRae (11 years) and Shelley Adams (37 years).
O Hired James Browning as special education teacher and Patricia Allen as chemistry teacher at Talladega High School.
O Accepted the resignations of Mark Darby (physical education at C.L. Salter Elementary), Lindy Mange (science teacher at Talladega High School) and LTC John Sudduth (JROTC instructor at Talladega High School).
O Transferred David McCorkle from third grade teacher to fourth grade teacher at Houston Elementary School.
O Hired Jeremy Taylor as a level one maintenance worker.
O Approved the low bid for welding ventilation system repairs.
O Approved the low bid industrial maintenance program equipment.
O Heard Curry-McClellan thank and congratulate Campbell for his 29 years of service.
Contact Chris Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.