Hoover City Schools assistant superintendent retiring

Published 10:07 am Monday, June 20, 2022

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HOOVER – Hoover City Schools District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ron Dodson will retire later this month after 34 years as an educator in the district.

Dodson’s career began in 1988 as a teacher when the school system was established.

“Back in 1988, Dr. Robert Mitchell told us that Hoover City Schools would be a learning laboratory, and I believe we have built on that legacy with innovation and an emphasis on engaged learning,” Dodson said, recalling Mitchell’s vision as the district’s first superintendent.

During his tenure with HCS, Dodson served as a science teacher at the former W.A. Berry High School, assistant principal at Hoover and Spain Park high schools, director of curriculum and instruction, and director of the Riverchase Career Connection Center, also known as RC3.

Dodson played an integral role in the planning and development of RC3, the school system’s state-of-the-art career training facility that opened in 2019.

“Career readiness is at least as important as college readiness,” Dodson said. “Our graduates are best prepared when they have earned career credentials that equip them to earn a living wage in a job they love, regardless of whether they choose to pursue a college degree. RC3 is a simulated workspace that trains our students in technical skills while, more importantly, reinforcing personal skills and habits that can help them be successful in getting and keeping a job.”

At RC3, students can learn hands-on skills in five academies: Culinary and Hospitality, Cyber Innovation, Fire Science, Health Science and Skilled Trades.

RC3 students earn industry credentials that lead to jobs and apprenticeships upon graduation from high school.

“The various academy lab spaces were designed with input from local business and industry professionals,” Dodson said. “I cannot be more proud of the teachers, the staff and the young adults who have breathed life into this amazing and unique school.”

HCS Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler described Dodson as a “good moral man” and an “outstanding educator.”

“Dr. Dodson is an educator that has proven his worth in the classroom, local school administrative offices and in the district office,” Fowler said. “He takes with him an encyclopedic knowledge of the district. Dr. Dodson has shared his knowledge and experience to help not only Hoover City Schools, but has been a stable ‘go-to’ for answers posed by administrators across the state. He is a rare and precious gem that will be sorely missed.”

Dodson’s message to his colleagues and friends of HCS is: “Don’t stand still,” and he encourages HCS employees to keep innovating and growing in their skills as educators and leaders.

“Our society is stressed from the pandemic, and public schools are a critical pillar of the democratic ideals that can restore our confidence and competence as participating citizens in society,” Dodson said. “Learning and living will be different in some ways after the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better. Don’t give up, and don’t be afraid to try new ways.”

Dodson said he wished he could thank Jack Farr and Gene Godwin for the lessons they poured into him.

“Both of these men passed away too soon, but they left this school system better than they found it, and I hope that I’ve done the same,” Dodson said. “I feel good about the body of work I’m leaving behind, and I know that work will continue in very good and capable hands.”

A retirement celebration was held at RC3 recently, and RC3’s Culinary and Hospitality Academy students catered the event.

Dodson said he’s looking forward to traveling and catching up on home improvement projects during this retirement, which will start after June 30, his last day on the job.

The search for Dodson’s replacement will begin after his departure.

“This is a task I have dreaded,” Fowler said. “Dr. Dodson will not easily be replaced. He has been a sounding board, advisor, moral conscience and friend to Hoover City Schools and me. However, I do wish him all the very best in health and happiness in his retirement.”