Alabaster, county school officials have first meeting

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Officials with the Alabaster Board of Education and the Shelby County Board of Education had their first meeting on Sept. 11 to kick off negotiations in Alabaster’s pending separation from the county school system.

During the meeting, officials from both systems, including Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller and Alabaster BOE Coordinator of Administrative Services Dr. Phillip Hammonds, met to start negotiations in the separation process.

“It was just a getting-to-know-you meeting. What we are doing now is just starting to have that conversation,” Fuller said. “We had to have that process first, and it will evolve from there.”

During a previous Alabaster BOE meeting, board members said they waited until after Labor Day to begin meeting with county schools officials in an effort to allow the county to settle into the new school year.

Hammonds previously said it is “within the realm of possibility” for most of the negotiations with the SCBOE to be completed as early as January or February 2013.

Alabaster School Board members have not yet finalized the city’s split date with Shelby County Schools.

Hammonds currently is the full-time superintendent of the Jefferson County School System, but is serving as an advisor to the Alabaster BOE during his off and personal days and on nights and weekends.

Hammonds said the Jefferson County BOE is set to hire his replacement as early as October. Before he was hired by the Alabaster BOE, he had already announced he planned to retire from the Jefferson County School System in early 2013.