Patrick Dowell

Patrick Dowell

PELL CITY – The Pell City school board approved hiring Patrick Dowell as the new principal for Iola Roberts Elementary.

“I am very excited,” Dowell said Thursday. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with teachers at Iola Roberts.”

Dowell, 39, is coming to Pell City from the Enterprise school system, where he served as the assistant principal for Headland Elementary. 

Pell City system officials said a committee interviewed and recommended the top three candidates for the job, and interim Superintendent Dr. Frank Castanzo selected Dowell as the top candidate. 

Castanzo made his recommendation to the school board during its meeting Tuesday night, and the board unanimously approved Dowell. 

Castanzo said Dowell will have a two-year probationary contract with the school system. 

Dowell received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama and his Master of Science in education leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

According to Dowell’s resume, he has served as Headland Elementary assistant principal since 2014 under the Henry County Board of Education. Headland Elementary has about 800 students. 

Prior to the assistant principal’s post, Dowell served as a Title I resource and schoolwide instructional coach for Harrand Creek Elementary (Enterprise City system) from 2008-14

From 2006-08, he served a first-grade teacher at Pinedale Elementary in Enterprise, and from 1999-06, Dowell worked for a private school, The Country Day School, in Huntsville. 

“We welcome him and look forward to his leadership at Iola Roberts,” Castanzo said at Tuesday night’s meeting. 

Dowell said his wife, Andrea, is from the Birmingham area, and this will allow their family to move closer to her family. The couple has three children.

The new principal said the Pell City school system and community attracted him to apply for the vacant position at Iola Roberts. 

“It (the Pell City system) has a great reputation,” Dowell said. “I can’t wait to get there and get the school year started.”

Former Iola Roberts Elementary School Principal Elizabeth Grimes announced in May that she was resigning, effective June 30.