The Jefferson County School System again has a new superintendent.
On Thursday, the school board unanimously hired Dr. Craig Pouncey, who stepped down from his position as the chief of staff and deputy superintendent of the Alabama Board of Education to take the job.
Pouncey’s contract is for four years; his annual salary is $228,000, in addition to include a vehicle, $1,000 a month housing allowance, health insurance and other benefits.
“We appreciate your committing to Jefferson County. We are committed to you as well,” Board President Jennifer Parsons told Pouncey during the meeting.
Parsons also thanked interim Superintendent Dr. Bobby Neighbors for serving the last few weeks until the board hired a new superintendent. Neighbors had served as superintendent of the system from 2000 to 2003.
“You just stepped in like you hadn’t been gone, and we appreciate it,” Parsons said.
Pouncey said he is ready to hit the ground running in Jefferson County, and is looking forward to working with principals, staff and school board personnel, as well as continue his relationship with state board of education officials.
“You’ve got to have a lot of participation, and you’ve got to have everyone involved,” he said.
School system leaders hope Pouncey will smooth the rocky road that the system has traveled since it asked former superintendent Dr. Stephen Nowlin to step down in May,16 months after he took the position. The board cited “philosophical differences.”
For the next 14 months, Nowlin will serve as a consultant with the school system. He will continue to receive his monthly salary of $18,307.60. At the end of that term, he will be paid a lump-sum buyout of $219,691.17 for the remaining portion of his original contract and $24,715.26 for unused vacation days.
Nowlin replaced Dr. Phil Hammonds after Hammonds’ retirement.