Pelham names interim school superintendent, CSFO, consultant

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

The former director of the Alabama Office of Workforce Development will serve as Pelham’s interim school superintendent after he was hired during a Jan. 27 Pelham Board of Education meeting.

Alford

Alford

During the meeting, the Pelham School Board voted unanimously to hire Dr. Tim Alford, a Pelham resident, as the upstart city school system’s interim superintendent.

“I think it’s part of our civic duty to serve in these capacities,” Alford said in an interview after the meeting. “Not all change is improvement, but all improvement requires change. I look forward to taking our schools that are already good and making them even better.”

In addition to serving as the director of the state’s Office of Workforce Development from 2003-2007, Alford was the mayor of Enterprise from 2000-2003, and previously served as the superintendent for Andalusia City Schools and Jasper City Schools. Alford also served on the Alabama State Workforce Investment Board, and retired as chairman of the board in summer 2013.

Alford’s term as interim superintendent will end on July 30, and the Pelham BOE will pay him $23,000 for his six months of service.

The Pelham School Board also voted to hire current Hoover City Schools Director of Payroll and Benefits Lauren Butts as the Pelham school system’s first chief school financial officer, and hired Dr. Suzanne Freeman as the school system’s educational consultant.

Before working with Hoover City Schools, Butts served as the chief school financial officer for the Bibb County School System.

Freeman previously served as the superintendent of the Trussville City School System, and will help the city negotiate its separation from the Shelby County School System, Pelham BOE President Rick Rhoades said.

“I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the separation of school districts, and the list of people qualified to do this is pretty short,” Rhoades said. “We are excited about what she will bring to this process.”

Carl Johnson, an attorney with the Bishop, Colvin, Johnson and Kent law firm representing the Pelham Board of Education, said filling the three positions will help Pelham meet its goal of separating from the Shelby County School System on July 1.

“We will begin the formal negotiation (with Shelby County Schools) after the meeting tonight,” Johnson said. “We have made contact with the Shelby County Board of Education. They understand we are on a tight deadline, and they have committed to work with us to open on July 1 as a Pelham school system.”