Holman discusses school board issues

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2007


How do you feel about the superintendent search for the Demopolis School System that has just finished?

I think it went really well. We found a very highly qualified candidate. Dr. (Wayne) Vickers has had experience at all levels. He is currently the principal of a middle school. He has been the principal at a K-12 high school, an elementary school and was with the State Department of Education in Kentucky, where he was over curriculum. He had worked at the central office there, so that is a very broad amount of experience, particularly for guy as young as he is. I felt real good about the hire. Of course, we had some great local candidates, all of the candidates were good.

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Do you think going out of system to hire a superintendent, with the local candidates that applied, will effect the relationship between Vickers and those candidates?

No, not at all. I talked with both of them, and they are both very upbeat about Dr. Vickers and what he brings to the system. They are professional people.

Demopolis hasn&8217;t had a new superintendent for quite some time, so for the search an outside consultant, Dr. Neil Hyche, was brought in. How did he help the process?

Well, he had a wealth of knowledge about the candidates that were out there. He has been in the education business for around 40 years, so he had a lot of contacts as far as checking out the candidates. He helped us talk to people who knew the candidates, as far as their backgrounds in education.

Now that the Board of Education has selected a new superintendent, is there a transition process as Vickers gets acclimated with the system?

Sure, but I think that is going to happen with any new superintendent. Dr. (Wesley) Hill&8217;s last day is June 30, so there will be an opportunity for those two to get together and share notes on the system.

Now that Vickers has the job, will he finish the year as principal at Hillcrest Middle School in Tuscaloosa?

Right, he is still under contract there so he has to finish that out and when it is done he will come here as superintendent. He is checking to see specifically what date that is.

Will Vickers be involved in the upcoming search for a new principal at Westside Elementary?

It is a very important position, and he will absolutely be involved in the search. Now will he sit in on the interviews? I don&8217;t know. We will have to talk to him about that and see if he will want to be involved in that. But I feel he will at least submit some questions for that job, because it is a very important job like I said. It is the very first school that many of the parents come to, and they are very involved at that stage, so it is important to them.

What are some of the things the board would like to do once Vickers arrives in Demopolis and settles into his position?

I don&8217;t know that I have a specific goal that is set beforehand, but I can tell you the reason I liked him is that some of his qualifications deal with curriculum. We can have a very strong curriculum and students can succeed in whatever they want. I don&8217;t have a specific goal, but they say he is very innovative at all levels. As it was apparent in his interview, he is very good at mining data. Now days they get that data down to the individual student level. At Westside they use that for each student in the reading program to advance each individual student. It is very personal to each student and he could further that.