He served as Dothan's deputy school superintendent from 1996 to 2005, and recently he served as interim superintendent for months...
Now, doctor Sam Nichols, will assume the roll permanently.
Nichols was one of two candidates who applied for the position. The other was carver magnet school's principal, dr. James Kelly.
Dr. Kelly says, "I feel that they made a good decision. I don't think they made the best decision, obviously… but Dr. Nichols and I have worked together for a long time and I don't see any problems with us continuing to work together."
Dothan's school board voted unanimously to extend the superintendent's position to doctor Nichol's after the position was left vacant for close to half a year.
Now Nichols wants to move forward and work hand in hand with teachers and students.
He says, "We have so much potential here in the school system. I’m just looking forward to moving forward. Our greatest assets are our teachers and our students... It’s just a great opportunity."
The search for a new superintendent began when the former superintendent, Dr. Leon Hobbs was ousted by the previous school board, which voted to buy out his contract.
The move spurred a flurry of allegations of wrong doing and nepotism within the board.
But a financial audit determined that nothing wrong happened.
The board is still paying the buyout fee at the expense of taxpayers, but the decision to select Nichols as permanent superintendent may now save it from having to spend money it did not budget for.
Dr. Steve stokes, the chairman of the school board says, "if dr. Nichols moves and apparently he's going to, then we would still have two superintendents that we were paying. But if Dr. Nichols had not moved up, then we would have to continue him as deputy superintendent and have to pay another superintendent... So we would be paying almost three superintendents."
Doctor Nichol's says his first order of business, as superintendent, will be to continue the school programs already in place, and start planning new ones.