Hoover BOE declares intent to contract with AASB in superintendent search

The Hoover Board of Education approved a declaration of intent to contract with the Alabama Association of School Boards in the system's search for a new superintendent. (File)

The Hoover Board of Education approved a declaration of intent to contract with the Alabama Association of School Boards in the system’s search for a new superintendent. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—The Hoover Board of Education will likely move ahead with the search for a new superintendent with the help of the Alabama Association of School Boards. The BOE approved a declaration of intent to contract with the AASB and use their consultants and services during a Jan. 12 meeting.

Susan Salter, AASB director of board development, presented the services the AASB will provide throughout the superintendent search during the Jan. 12 meeting.

Salter explained the AASB “superintendent finder” program provides a team of five experienced education consultants—four former superintendents and one former member of the Department of Education.

The team will be led by Dr. Kendy Behrends, and include Jan Harris, Dr. Terry Jenkins, Hank Jones and Dr. James Wright.

“They bring a unique combination of skills to this process,” Salter said. “They come with great experience… They’re the people who, if you hire us, would be leading your search.”

With the help of the consultants, the AASB will recruit, accept and review applications and screen potential candidates for the job. The pool of applicants will be narrowed to a list of five candidates “based on qualifications set by the board,” which will then be submitted to the Hoover BOE for review, Salter explained.

The Hoover BOE will then be responsible for interviewing and selecting a candidate for the superintendent position.

The AASB’s plan also allows room for community input through online surveys and “community engagement meetings,” Salter said.

“It will be a good window into your community,” Salter said of the community participation component.

The AASB’s proposed services will cost the Hoover BOE around $21,200 and will adhere to a strict timeline with a goal of hiring a new superintendent “by the end of May,” Salter explained.

Former Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig announced his resignation from the position on Dec. 8 and the Hoover Board of Education appointed Dr. Jim Reese as interim superintendent on Dec. 19.

Reese’s term as interim superintendent officially began on Jan. 1 and can only last up to 180 days.

“I have always been very impressed with the AASB,” Hoover BOE President Donna Frazier said, suggesting the BOE move to contract with the AASB during the Jan. 12 meeting. “I just feel strongly about getting this show on the road… this is a very strict schedule.”

Hoover BOE member Derrick Murphy echoed Frazier’s remarks.

“They have always been reliable,” Murphy said of the AASB. “I’m truly impressed. There’s no doubt in my mind they will exceed expectation.”

At the advice of attorney Donald Sweeney, legal council for the Hoover BOE, the Board voted to approve a declaration of intent to contract with the AASB. The board will likely approve the contract during a special-called meeting on Jan. 16 at 7:30 a.m.