City brimming with new excitement

Published 12:04 am Saturday, May 8, 2010

A nearly year-long process came to a close Monday when the Demopolis board of education extended an offer to Dr. Robert “Al” Griffin, asking that he become the city’s next superintendent of education.

Having sat through all seven of the candidate interviews, there were a small handful of candidates that stood out to me. Dr. Griffin was certainly one of those.

His enthusiasm was evident. His accomplishments were plentiful and his educational background was immaculate.

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And through all that, he came across as a genuine, down-to-earth Regular Joe.

I think that’s important, especially in a small town like Demopolis.

A successful superintendent will be approachable, either during office hours, in the grocery store or at church.

Dr, Griffin’s potential, and that of our school system, is exciting on many levels.

I’m excited for the board of education. I think they’ve picked a very capable leader who can help the city’s school system get to where we all want it to go.

I’m excited for the parents. I think we’ll begin to see an impact on the kind of instruction available to our children sooner rather than later.

I’m excited for the teachers and administrators. Dr. Griffin’s enthusiasm and energy should translate well through the halls of each school. He strikes me as someone who – if you buy in to the process of making every day better than the last – would be fun to work for.

Dr. Griffin’s unexpected visit at DHS’s softball game in Troy on Friday shows a man who is eager to come to work and serve our city.

And I’m excited for the city. The greatness of the Demopolis City School System is already second to none as far I’m concerned. However, there’s always room for improvement.

The board had a difficult task at its feet in picking the school system’s next leader and, truthfully, it will be many months – even a year or more – before the success of their choice can be accurately measured.

Challenging times lie ahead for education in Alabama. The troubled and uncertain winds affect school systems around the state and Demopolis will not be immune.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Griffin to Demopolis and look upon the city’s journey with him with optimism. I look forward to seeing how he and the board navigate the waters ahead and in which direction they take us.

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.