Hoover BOE begins hiring process for interim superintendent

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

HOOVER – Hoover City Board of Education members spent more than 30 minutes during a regular meeting Dec. 8 discussing the process of finding a temporary and a permanent replacement for Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig, who has accepted a position with the Alabama State Department of Education.

Despite the news of Craig’s intended departure circulating in mid-November, Board President Donna Frazier said the board didn’t receive Craig’s official resignation until Dec. 5.

Craig’s resignation will go into effect at midnight Dec. 31.

“It’s been nothing but a privilege for me to be in Hoover, to have my family in Hoover, to raise our family in Hoover, my kids to be in our schools,” Craig said. “I’ve had the tremendous good fortune to work with amazing people. It’s been an incredibly rewarding time for me.”

Starting Jan. 1, Craig will be the new deputy state superintendent of administration and finance.

Frazier, overcome with emotion, passed Craig’s resignation letter to Board Vice-President Derrick Murphy to read aloud at the meeting Dec. 8.

“Mr. Craig will play a very important role down at the state,” Murphy said after reading the letter. “He takes with him 13 years of K-12 experience.”

Frazier said finding an interim superintendent is “the task at hand” for the school board.

“Right now, the interim is a position that needs to be filled, but we are focused on a permanent superintendent,” Frazier said. “I want everyone to understand that. That is first and foremost. As soon as the interim superintendent is hired, the process for the permanent position will begin.

“As board president, it is my goal to have a permanent superintendent in place by the end of this school year.”

The interim superintendent can serve a maximum of 180 days.

“We need to have someone in place by Jan. 1, 2015,” Frazier said. “I have asked the board members to list their top five priorities for an interim superintendent and to be prepared to discuss this at the meeting tonight.”

Board members’ priorities for candidates for the interim position included: to make decisions in the best interest of all Hoover City Schools students; to have worked with a school system comparable to the size of Hoover’s school system; to understand the communication required to work with the board; to have knowledge, skills and demonstrated ability of serving as a superintendent; to be respectful of all school employees; to be ready to take a position beginning Jan. 1; to not be interested in applying for the permanent superintendent position; and to have served in a superintendent’s role previously.

“We could not begin this process until we had Mr. Craig’s resignation, which we received late Friday afternoon,” Frazier said.

Frazier recommended that board member Earl Cooper be designated as a contact person for finding interim superintendent candidates that meet the board’s criteria.

The board scheduled a called meeting for Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss candidates and possibly decide who to hire as interim superintendent.