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JeffCo BOE confirms possible buyout of superintendent

By Gary Lloyd

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Jefferson County Board of Education President Jennifer Parsons has confirmed reports that the board’s attorneys are engaged in talks with Superintendent Steve Nowlin that could lead to an “orderly and amicable transition in the superintendency.”

In acknowledging these developments, Parsons emphasized that any board action that might be taken would not be based on any wrongdoing or neglect of duty, but on philosophical differences about how best to maintain educational progress for the school system.

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Stephen Nowlin
photo courtesy of Jefferson County Schools

“Dr. Nowlin has made important contributions to public education over the course of a distinguished career and we expect him to continue to do so,” Parsons said. “If the board approves making a change in the position, our focus will be on employing a superintendent whose vision and leadership style will best meet the needs of this district and the students it serves.”

Parsons also said that no timetable for action relating to a transition has been set, but noted that if a change in the position is approved, the board would move quickly to fill the position. Under state law, a superintendent can’t be appointed until the vacancy has been publicly advertised for at least 30 days. An interim superintendent can be named immediately for a term of up to 180 days.

Nowlin didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Parsons voiced confidence that any change that might be forthcoming would not disrupt school or administrative operations.

“Parents and patrons of the district can be assured that, no matter what happens, our students will remain under the care and supervision of competent and conscientious educators,” Parsons said.

Nowlin has been the Jefferson County Schools superintendent since January 2013. He was the Lee County Schools superintendent since 2008 prior to coming to Jefferson County. Prior to that, Nowlin served as interim superintendent of Lee County Schools from 2007 to 2008, and interim superintendent of Madison City Schools from 2006 to 2007.

Nowlin earned a satisfactory evaluation from the board in his first year.

Contact Gary Lloyd at and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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