By Crystal McGough, Associate Editor
TRUSSVILLE – Board of Education President Kathy Brown gave a superintendent search update at the Board’s pre-meeting work session on Monday, March 20, stating that the Board is continuing the process of evaluating the two finalists from the list of candidates recommended by the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB), as well as taking into consideration other potential candidates.
“We are continuing to do what we stated we were going to do last Monday,” Brown said. “We moved two candidates forward. We are scheduling a meeting with them – Dr. (Holly) Sutherland and Dr. (Kevin) Maddox – in small groups to get to know them better. We’ve also been contacted with names of possible candidates. We will vet those persons and if we feel they are a potential candidate also, we’ll bring them forward for a public interview.”
According to Brown, the Board received names of potential candidates and interested parties prior to hiring AASB, as well as throughout the ongoing process.
“We stated in the beginning that this Board wants whatever is the best fit for Trussville and we are committed to finding that person to be our next superintendent,” she said. “We have a timeline, but we’re not rushing through this process. So, we’re doing what we stated we were doing; we’re meeting and scheduling, and that’s where we are.”
In other business, the board approved a consent agenda that included, among other items, amendments to Board Policy 2.05.4 Public Participation, which was put on the table for a first reading last month.
During the work session, Interim Superintendent Dr. Frank P. Costanzo said the policy, prior to the amendments, was limited in relation to the process and agenda.
“The meeting of a board is held in public; it’s not a public meeting of the board,” Costanzo said. “It’s the opportunity for you to conduct your business in public.”
Costanzo said that the first change is the ability for the board to post a tentative agenda.
“Of course, we know no agenda is approved until the board actually votes and accepts the agenda,” he said. “You do have the authority to amend the agenda, to add items to the agenda in the process.”
The second change relates to delegations or individuals’ comments, he said.
“Prior to a board meeting, if a delegation or an individual wants to speak to an item that is not on the agenda, there is a process for that as well,” Costanzo said. “Again, we’re not changing the policy; we’re just amending it to really strengthen it in a variety of ways.”
The third amendment concerns public comments on agenda items.
“What would happen would be: an individual would come in and sign on the public participation sign-in sheet, they would designate the item they want to speak to and whether they speak pro or con,” Costanzo said. “Typically, when you stand before the Board and you discuss a particular item, then usually the Board so directs the superintendent staff to do an investigation if that’s what’s required and then to report back to you. … Prior to an investigation that takes place … we want parents to have the opportunity to speak at the school, whether it be with the teacher, a civilian person, the principal … (and) we are allowed to do that investigation and follow up on that, as well.”
The last amendment, Costanzo said, is that the Board will be able to restrict comments that are deemed personal attacks, or speech and conduct that is inconsistent with the policies of the Board of Education.
“It’s not a forum to come in and attack an individual or the Board,” he said.
During the regular meeting, the Board recognized and congratulated the Hewitt-Trussville High School wrestling and track and field champions.
For HTHS Wrestling, the athletes recognized were Kat Grigsby, Clark Box and Hunter Jones. Their coaches are Chris Pike, Brad Hettich, Scott Robertson, Jared Box and Scott Hastings.
The HTHS Track & Field champion athletes that were recognized are Tori Macki, Michael Igbonoghene, Hudson Bates, Colin Wadsworth, Malachi Johnson and Manny Cazeau. Their coaches are Tom Esslinger, Matthew Michalke, Jihan Loving, Jean Cherizol, Jamey Curlee, Mike Deibert, Todd Carlile, Adam Russell and David Clyburn.
The April monthly Board meeting will be held Monday, April 17, 2023, at 6 p.m., in the boardroom of the TCS Central Office. There will be a work session prior to the Board meeting beginning at 5 p.m.