SCS Superintendent Randy Fuller celebrates retirement after 42 years as educator

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

ALABASTER – A framed basketball jersey with the word “FULLER” in all caps and No. 42 across the chest was proudly displayed in the gym of the newly renovated Shelby County Instructional Services Center the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 1, as administrators, family and friends gathered to celebrate the retirement of Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller.

Fuller

Basketball has been a large part of Fuller’s life where he served as the head varsity boys basketball coach at Hueytown High School from 1980-89 as the framed jersey represented his time as a coach. He compiled a record of 189-79 and is the winningest head coach in Hueytown basketball history. The No. 42 stood for his 42 years of service as an educator in the state of Alabama.

Throughout his career, Fuller has served in many capacities including teacher, coach, administrative assistant, assistant principal and principal. He began his administrative career as an assistant principal at Gardendale High School for a short time before being named principal of Oak Grove School, a K-12 school in west Jefferson County. After subsequently serving as principal of McAdory High School for five years, he was hired by Shelby County Schools in 1998 as principal to oversee the construction of Oak Mountain High School, which opened in August 1999. After serving as principal for eight years, Fuller was elected superintendent of Shelby County Schools on July 18, 2006 and took office on Nov. 1, 2006. He began his third term as superintendent on Jan. 1, 2015.

As superintendent, Fuller has been recognized with numerous awards including the University of Montevallo Kermit A. Johnson Outstanding Superintendent Award, the Alabama School Communicators Association’s Superintendent of the Year Award, the Marbury Technology Innovation Award for Central Office Leaders at the 2011 Alabama Educational Technology Conference and the Lifetime Commitment to Education Award from the University of Montevallo.

“It’s been such a wonderful journey and the influences that we have on each other has been something special,” Fuller said. “I always believe that we influence people and they influence us. It’s been a moving experience seeing all of your faces here because you touched my life from the time I was 11 years old.”

One of those people that Fuller had an influence on was incoming Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Lewis Brooks. Brooks will take over as superintendent after being elected to the position in June.

“Leadership can sometimes be simply defined by influence. Mr. Randy Fuller can certainly be described as one of the most influential school leaders of his generation,” Brooks said. “His tenure as the superintendent of Shelby County Schools and his vision for what this school district has become has been unparalleled. He has truly been a model of excellence in leadership for us all.”

At the retirement ceremony, Fuller spent time thanking colleagues, friends and family who have made a positive impact on his career while a slideshow featuring photos of him throughout the years scrolled through in the background.

Another gift Fuller received was a framed portion of the baseline from the Hueytown High School gym floor honoring him for his accomplishments while he was head basketball coach.

Other accomplishments for Fuller include being a member of the School Superintendents of Alabama where he was nominated for School Superintendent of the Year in 2016. He is a charter member of the Superintendents’ Leader Network. He has served as the chair of the State Chemical Awareness Program (CAP) Steering Committee. He is a graduate and active alumnus of Leadership Shelby County and serves on the board of the Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America.