North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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May 8, 2014

Update: Jefferson County Schools interim superintendent to be named Friday afternoon

BIRMINGHAM — The Jefferson County Board of Education did not name an interim superintendent in its meeting Thursday morning, but sent an announcement just hours later that it would do so on Friday afternoon.

Board President Jennifer Parsons after Thursday's meeting said that the five-member board has a short list of five or six names in mind. In a special meeting at 4 p.m. at the Central Office, the board will name its selection.

Thursday's meeting was the first since the board approved an amended employment contract Tuesday that effectively removed Dr. Stephen Nowlin from the superintendent's office that he held since January 2013. After that meeting, Parsons said that the board could have an interim superintendent ready to be appointed at today's meeting, but that didn't take place then.

Parsons said that most of those under consideration for the interim position are from outside the JefCoEd system. "We are fortunate to have a number of retired educators in the state of Alabama who are available to serve in this type of position," she said.

Thursday's meeting was scheduled for some time, well before Nowlin was ousted. It is an annual special meeting required by Alabama law for the specific purpose of soliciting comments from the general public about priorities for the next school year, particularly regarding budget matters.

Little was said about money or anything else for next year, but the subject of Nowlin did come up from one speaker, Sue Duke, a staffer at Fultondale Elementary School who also serves with the Alabama Education Association.

Duke, who stipulated she was speaking only for herself, said that those she worked with supported Nowlin. "I really admire his backbone, and I hope you take that into account when getting a new superintendent," she said. “We certainly will be missing him. I felt someone need to speak for him, and I took it upon myself to do that.”

Nowlin had been a proponent form the day he took office of a new school to replace the aging Fultondale High School.

This is a developing story; we'll have updates later today.

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