Henderson appointed to Alabaster School Board

Derek Henderson, center, will serve on the Alabaster Board of Education through June 2015. (File)

Derek Henderson, center, will serve on the Alabaster Board of Education through June 2015. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Derek Henderson, a retired insurance agent and past president of the Thompson High School Quarterback Club, will serve on the Alabaster Board of Education through June 2015 after he was appointed to the spot by the Alabaster City Council.

During its May 6 meeting, the City Council voted 4-3 to appoint Henderson to the School Board vacancy left by the March 14 resignation of former School Board President Melanie Shores.

“You’ve seen something rare tonight – a 4-3 vote,” said Council President Scott Brakefield. “I think that speaks to the quality of the candidates we received. When the decision is difficult, you know you’ve got quality candidates.”

Council members Sophie Martin, Stacy Rakestraw, Russell Bedsole and Council President Scott Brakefield voted in favor of appointing Henderson. Council members Bob Hicks, Rick Walters and Tommy Ryals voted against.

Henderson was appointed after fellow candidate and former City Council member Jim McClain – the first to be nominated for the School Board seat during the council meeting – failed to gather enough council votes.

In addition to Henderson and McClain, Jamia Alexander-Williams, Jim Dennis and Eric Starling were also finalists for the vacant BOE spot.

“I’m confident in the decision we made tonight,” Martin said. We wish them the best of luck as they continue to make decisions – key decisions that will affect the future of our city.”

During his April 18 interview with the City Council, Henderson said he would work with area colleges and universities to offer advanced placement classes for THS students, and said he would like to strengthen career and technical offerings in the schools.

“We lack in offering other opportunities for those who are not college-bound,” Henderson said during the interview. “My vision is Alabaster city schools will be a destination place.

“Schools are the economic engine for everything around it,” Henderson added. “People move to those areas for schools. I want Alabaster to be a destination for schools.”

The City Council also voted 6-1 in favor of reappointing current School Board member Ty Quarles to a term ending in June 2018.