New interim Dothan superintendent plans no major changes

Dr. Dennis Coe named to position after school board accepts resignation of Dr. Phyllis Edwards
Dr. Dennis Coe appointed Dothan City Schools Interim superintendent on September 14, 2020.
Dr. Dennis Coe appointed Dothan City Schools Interim superintendent on September 14, 2020.(WTVY)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:25 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Dothan City School Board Chairman Mike Schmitz said the past few days have been “difficult” but he is ready to move forward.

He described emotions since learning last week that DCS Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards would step down.

After accepting that resignation Monday, the board appointed DCS Chief Operating Officer Dr. Dennis Coe as Edwards' interim replacement.

“During the next few months our chore is to just move the district forward,” Coe told reporters afterwards.

He has no plans for sweeping changes in a school year that faces COVID challenges. Virus dangers delayed classes, that began September 8, for about a month.

Coe has served several school districts as an interim superintendent. He was also elected Henry County superintendent and worked as a consultant for the Alabama Department of Education.

Schmitz believes, because of COVID, it will be difficult to find Edwards permanent replacement and urges the board not to hurry the hiring process. He expressed full confidence in Coe, who may be considered for job.

“(We) want to tell out 1,000 employees we got this, tell out 9000 students we got this, tell their parents we got this,” he said.

Edwards had two and a half years remaining on her five year contract. She did not give 120 days notice, as required in that agreement. Schmitz said the board will work with Edwards to settle financial details of her departure.

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