Alabaster interim school superintendent stepping down May 31

Outgoing Alabaster Interim School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds, center, embraces Creek View Elementary School teacher Michelle Brakefield as School Board member Derek Henderson, right, looks on. The Alabaster School board held a reception to honor Hammonds following a May 29 meeting. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Outgoing Alabaster Interim School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds, center, embraces Meadow View Elementary School teacher Michelle Brakefield as School Board member Derek Henderson, right, looks on. The Alabaster School board held a reception to honor Hammonds following a May 29 meeting. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster Board of Education thanked outgoing Interim School Superintendent Dr. Phillip Hammonds for his service, and appointed current Coordinator of Exceptional Education Kari Johnson as the district’s interim superintendent for the month of June during a May 29 meeting.

During the brief special-called meeting at the Alabaster School Board’s central office on Alabama 119, the board voted unanimously to shorten Hammonds’ contract as interim superintendent to May 31. School Board member Ty Quarles did not attend the meeting.

Hammonds’ contract originally was set to end on June 30.

Hammonds, the longtime superintendent of the Jefferson County School System, has served as Alabaster’s interim school superintendent since early January. In summer 2012, Hammonds was appointed to serve part-time as the Alabaster Board of Education’s coordinator of administrative services.

The Alabaster School Board’s decision to shorten Hammonds’ contract came about a week after the board approved its separation agreement with the Shelby County School System – a process Hammonds has worked to complete over the past several months.

After the Alabaster board approved the separation agreement, Hammonds requested his term end on May 31 to allow incoming Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers and other Alabaster School Board officials to move forward with establishing the upstart school district, which will officially begin operations during the 2013-2014 school year.

“It’s been a pleasure. I hope we haven’t done anything that impedes getting the ball rolling at full speed,” Hammonds told the School Board members. “I will be thinking about you, and I will always consider you my friends. I wish you the very best.”

“We would not be where we are without you,” Alabaster School Board President Adam Moseley told Hammonds. “We appreciate what you’ve done to help us get off in the right direction.”

Hammonds said he will have six-and-a-half days of vacation time left on May 31, for which he will be compensated “about $1,000 or so.” He said he plans to donate the money to the Thompson High School marching band’s campaign to purchase new uniforms.

Also during its May 29 meeting, the Alabaster School Board voted to name Johnson the city school system’s interim school superintendent until Vickers’ term officially begins on July 1. Vickers currently is serving as the Saraland City School System’s superintendent.

In addition to her coordinator of exceptional education salary, Johnson also will receive a $1,500 stipend to serve as interim superintendent in June.

“We have to have someone in that (superintendent) position. We can’t do anything without a superintendent’s recommendation,” Moseley said, noting Vickers will be splitting his time between Alabaster and Saraland in June.