Anniston school board narrows superintendent search
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Dec 05, 2013 | 5244 views |  0 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Anniston Board of Education's search for its next superintendent narrowed to four candidates Thursday.

During a meeting Thursday, the board approved the four candidates out of a list of 38 applicants. The council’s vote comes two months after beginning the job search.

The board will interview the candidates on four different days during January. School officials said the position could be filled by February.

"We've got some great candidates," said board member William Hutchings.

Anniston school superintendent Joan Frazier will retire at the end of the school year.

The four candidates were recommended at the meeting by Illinois-based firm BWP and Associates, which the board hired in July to manage the initial candidate selection process. Sandra Sims-deGraffenried, associate with BWP, said she was excited about the top four candidates.

"We think that if you hire any one of these four, they will do a good job in Anniston," DeGraffenried said.

She added that the recommended candidates had already received background checks.

DeGraffenried named each of the four candidates in alphabetical order and briefly discussed their credentials:

— Darren Douthitt, the superintendent of Butler County Schools. He has education degrees from Jacksonville State University and the University of Alabama. DeGraffenried said he is in the progress of obtaining his doctorate.

— Reginald Eggleston, the assistant superintendent of Mobile County Schools, who has an education degree from Nova Southeastern University.

— Vickie Scott, a vice president at Highpoints Learning in Duluth, Ga. Highpoints Learning is an education company that serves 27 states and offers programs to improve math achievement in schools.

— Keith Stewart, superintendent of Bullock County Schools. Stewart will finish his doctorate degree in education this month, DeGraffenried said.

DeGraffenried said none of the four candidates were interested in staying in Anniston for just a few years before moving to another job.

"All four said they are looking to be here for the long haul," she said.

Board President Donna Ross said she was impressed by the slate of superintendent candidates.

"I'm shaking I'm so excited," Ross said. "And I can't say enough about BWP ... taking what we wanted and finding the candidates that matched our desires and expectations."

Board member Bill Robison said though he still did not have all the details on the candidates yet, he had confidence in BWP and DeGraffenried.

"She said they were clear-cut, wonderful candidates," Robison said. "I'm optimistic we'll come out of this with a great superintendent."

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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