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Tony Ball, then director of operations for the Scottsboro City school system, interviews with the Talladega City Board of Education in 2018. Ball was eventually hired as Talladega superintendent. 

TALLADEGA -- The Talladega City school board voted 4-1 Tuesday night to approve a superintendent’s contract with Tony Ball, the director of operations for Scottsboro City Schools.

Ball, the only candidate interviewed by the BOE, officially takes over as superintendent Monday.

Board member Mary McGhee, who objected to the way the search was conducted, cast the dissenting vote.

The contract runs through July 2020 unless terminated earlier or extended by the board. If the board does not intend to extend the contract after it expires, it must give one month’s notice. If it fails to give that notice, the contract is automatically extended to July 2021.

Ball will earn a base salary of $130,000 per year for the first two years, rising up to $135,000 in the third year. He will also receive any state pay raises enacted after July 16 and any further raises mandated by the Legislature.

The contract also contains various incentives, including $1,000 for increases in enrollment of 50 students, $1,250 for increases of 75 students and $1,500 for 100. A 5 percent increase in the overall ACT/Aspire test score is worth $1,000, as is a 5 percent or more increase in graduation rate.

There is another $1,000 for being elected president of the state superintendent’s association, $1,000 for an excellent evaluation by three board members and $1,500 for an excellent evaluation from four board members.

He is also eligible for 1 percent of any new grant funds obtained up to $10,000 and 1 percent of any new monetary donations from the community.

The contract includes a $600 per month vehicle allowance, a cellphone and membership dues for any civic organizations up to $150 per month per organization.

There is also a single $9,500 payment for moving and transition expenses.

The contract may be terminated by mutual agreement, disability or death, by the superintendent himself with 90 days notice, termination by the board for cause and discretionary termination by the board.

If the superintendent quits within the first two years without the approval of a majority of the board members, he shall pay 20 percent of his annual base salary.

During the same meeting Tuesday, the board also said goodbye to Chief Schools Financial Officer Arthur Watts, who will be following former Superintendent Terry Roller to work with the Montgomery school system for the state Board of Education.

Board members Shirley Simmons-Sims and James Braswell praised Watts for the work he has done for the board and the sound financial condition he was leaving it in. Board Chairman Jake Montgomery said, “I think we all second that.”

Watts said he had planned to retire in Talladega and had turned down the position before, but after prayer and consultation, he had changed his mind.

“I want to thank the board, the public and the people of Talladega for their support and the wonderful experience I have had here,” Watts said, adding that he planned to visit when he could.

Also Tuesday, the board:

  • Approved the Educator Effectiveness Plan as submitted;

  • Hired Jonathan Harper as physical education teacher at Graham and Houston elementary schools;

  • Amended Watts’ contract to include payment for unused vacation time;

  • Heard Watts report that two-thirds of the way through the fiscal year, revenue was 68.31 percent of projected and expenditures were at 64.73 percent.