Alabaster BOE hires JeffCo superintendent
By NEAL WAGNER/City Editor
The Alabaster Board of Education voted unanimously during a July 20 meeting to temporarily hire outgoing Jefferson County Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds to serve as a temporary consultant.
During the meeting, the Alabaster board approved a contract for Hammonds to serve from July 27 through Jan. 31, 2013. Alabaster school board member Adam Moseley said the contract can be renewed “at any time.”
Alabaster school board members previously said Hammonds will serve the roles of the system’s superintendent until the board hires a full-time superintendent.
Hammonds said he will work to start separation negotiations with the Shelby County Board of Education and will work to identify financial, personnel and academic priorities for the newly forming Alabaster school system.
Hammonds has been serving as the Jefferson County superintendent for more than eight years, and is preparing to retire from the system in late February 2013.
Hammonds said he was “honored” to be hired by the Alabaster board, and said he has past experience negotiating a city’s split from a county school system. He also said he has worked with Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller in the past.
“I’ve gone through this once before as Trussville formed its own district,” Hammonds said, as he called the Alabaster school district a “blank canvas.”
Hammonds said Alabaster “has every chance to succeed and be one of the premier, if not the premier, district in Alabama.”
Thompson High School Principal Dr. Daniel Steele encouraged Hammonds to visit the city’s schools and talk with teachers and administrators.
“You can make the best decisions when you are aware of what’s going on,” Steele said. “Feel free to stop by our schools.”
Alabaster school board member Linda Church called Hammonds “the cream of the crop,” and Moseley said he was happy to see the hire.
“I don’t think I’ve been more excited than I am today,” Moseley said.