City needs to act fast in case of Dr. Vickers

Published 7:16 pm Friday, June 5, 2009

News that Demopolis City School superintendent Dr. L. Wayne Vickers is one of two finalists for an opening at Saraland is only good news for a handful of people – and they all live in Saraland, Alabama.

The revelation that the school system could lose its highest-ranking administrator is not welcome news, especially given that we are already in the throes of a search to select a new principal for the high school, and are only a few weeks removed from looking for a band director.

By all accounts, Vickers is a good fit for the school system and its mission of scholastic excellence.

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He received a score of 50 out of a possible 52 on an annual evaluation in March, which was scored by school administrators and board members.

Dr. Neil P. Hyche, a state evaluator from Northport, presented the data gathered from the superintendent’s evaluation adding, “I don’t know why anyone who lives in the state of Alabama would not want to move to Demopolis.”

That’s a strong endorsement of the man’s capabilities. The fact that he earned a near-perfect evaluation among his peers and employees is another.

Here are two more:

1. In August, Demopolis High School was named a Blue Ribbon School, cementing its place as one of the state’s and nation’s best.

2. In March, Westside Elementary School won an international reading award, cementing its place among the best on the globe.

That’s a healthy resume, especially considering it’s all been accomplished in slightly less than two years – something we’re sure wasn’t lost on those reviewing candidates for the Saraland vacancy.

Saraland school board attorney Bob Campbell expects Vickers to visit the city as early as next week, giving Demopolis board of education leaders less than seven days to form a plan of action.

The most obvious solution seems clear. Stop Vickers in his driveway and hammer out a way to keep him here for many more years.