DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) — The first day of interviews for the Dothan city school superintendent is over. Tuesday, three more candidates will be vetted, getting a series of questions fired at them by both, members of the school board and the board chairman.
"I’ve had a lot of opportunity to see what K20 looks likes", said Martha Compton.
While being asked a series of questions, Compton talked about a new education initiative that looks beyond the first 12 grades of traditional education. She’s an administrator at Florida Panhandle Technical College but Compton is close enough keep a constant eye on Dothan schools. Even mentioning that she has close ties the Circle City and the Wiregrass. Though she’s from Florida, the first generation high school grad attended Troy University.
"I see Dothan as an amazing opportunity and I want to be a part of that opportunity", said Dr. Larry Collier.
Collier is an education executive with Decatur Alabama Public Schools. The Alabama native has spent over 2 decades in the school system. He’s applied for other superintendent positions but feels the Dothan city school system is a perfect fit. He believes the backbone of educational success is great leaders. The role of the superintendent, he said, is to support principals and administrators.
"Those people that are leading are looking to come to you for answers and technical assistants and support and so as a leader that's what I bring to the table", said Collier.
Compton though indicated her approach would be more hands on.
"I believe that in order to have an excellent quality school system you have to have someone embedded in the schools, knowing what's going on", said Compton.
The superintendent's job has been open since Dr. Chuck Ledbetter resigned earlier this year. His departure came after the failure of his school consolidation plan. It was a plan to merge the two major high schools in the system; Dothan High School and Northview High School.
Though it was something on the agenda for Ledbetter something, the new candidates can agree on is that school consolidation is a huge issue. They both agreed it’s a decision that can’t be taken likely. It first has to be research and looked at by all angles.
"When you're consolidating schools or closing schools, that’s a very difficult and volatile situation, so you have to take that work very seriously", said Collier.
"When you start messing with schools you're messing with people so I think it's very important that you have the right plan in place and everybody’s on board", said Compton.
Dr. Phyllis Edwards interviewed Tuesday morning.
She is from Palm Coast, Florida and has a degree in elementary education and a doctorate from the University of Central Florida.
Doctor Edwards believes that the superintendent should be a teacher.
She spent 13 years as a teacher and 12 years as a superintendent in Georgia.
She says building relationships with students and the community is important.
She says, "I kinda see myself as the mother figure, and all parents want to know if you care about their child and if you are keeping their child safe, and that they are learning and that everyone is getting the best possible education."
Doctor D. Ray Hill and Doctor Allan Miller will also be interviewed Tuesday.