Alabaster names new school superintendent

The Alabaster Board of Education hired current Saraland school superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers as its full-time superintendnet during a May 1 special-called meeting. Vickers' term will begin on July 1. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

The Alabaster Board of Education hired current Saraland school superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers as its full-time superintendent during a May 1 special-called meeting. Vickers’ term will begin on July 1. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The current superintendent of the Saraland City School System will serve as the Alabaster school superintendent beginning on July 1, Alabaster Board of Education members announced during a May 1 special-called meeting at the Alabaster Senior Center.

Dr. Wayne Vickers was chosen out of a pool of 16 candidates who applied for the full-time school superintendent position in March, and will replace current Interim Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds. Hammonds’ term is set to expire on June 30.

During the meeting, the Alabaster School Board unanimously approved a four-year contract to hire Vickers. According to the contract, Vickers will make a $175,000-per-year salary.

“What I will promise to you, I will work and be diligent and listen, and we will make this school system the very best in the state,” said Vickers, who has a son in middle school and a son in high school. “What happens in school matters to me. You won’t find anyone who will outwork me or out-think me.”

Before taking the Saraland school superintendent position in July 2009, Vickers served as the superintendent of the Demopolis City School System for two years. During his 23-year tenure in education, Vickers has also served as a principal at elementary, middle and high schools, and has worked with the Birmingham city, Tuscaloosa County, Tuscaloosa city and Coffee County school systems and the Kentucky Department of Education.

Alabaster School Board member Adam Moseley said Vickers was instrumental in leading the Saraland School System after the city split from the Mobile County School System in 2008.

“I’m very excited to have someone who has been there and done exactly what we want to do. With test scores, they (Saraland) have had a double-digit increase across the board with the same kids,” Moseley said. “This is a big hire for us.”

“It was a joy to work with Dr. Vickers,” said Alabaster School Board member Dr. John Myrick, a former member of the Saraland School Board who previously worked with Vickers.

While speaking with the Alabaster School Board members, Vickers said he plans to develop a school capital improvement plan with “the funds and the timeline to make it happen.” In the past four years, Saraland has conducted more than $53 million in capital projects, including construction of new high and elementary schools and renovations to its middle school.

Vickers said he plans to create a “well-balanced” offering of academic, athletic and extracurricular programs in Alabaster’s schools. He said his eventual goal is to have Alabaster ranked as one of the top-five school districts in the state.

“We wanted every child who walked into our schools to have something they loved doing,” Vickers said of his time with Saraland. “I treated it like my kid was involved in every one of those programs.”

Vickers also said he plans to address safety at Alabaster’s school buildings, and said Saraland schools have implemented safety measures such as placing a secure area inside the front entrance of its elementary school and giving police and firefighters mobile access to every school security camera.

“If I’m an officer responding to something, I need to see what is happening in that school before I get there,” Vickers said.