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Linden City school board hires Smith

The Linden City Schools board of education on Friday approved the hiring of Dr. Tyrone Smith as the school system’s next superintendent and the principal of Linden Elementary School.

The contract negotiations were not yet completed by the board’s deadline of Friday at noon, but the board felt the negotiations that had been made were positive, and Smith’s enthusiasm for the job also made an impression.

The board voted 3-0 to accept Smith, with chair Joyce Yeager, William Curry and Jim Wicks in attendance. Eunice Jones and Frances Jackson were not in attendance.

School board attorney Alex Braswell was at the meeting and brought the board up-to-date with the negotiations.

“I have spoken over the last three or four days with John Saxton, who is the attorney representing Dr. Smith,” he said. “He is adamant for the board to understand that the huge delay is on him, not Dr. Smith. It was just a horrible timing situation. He (Saxton) went out of the country to China for two weeks the day after you offered the contract to Dr. Smith.”

The contract offered is for $110,000 per year for three years, and Braswell said that Smith is ready to come to work.

“(Saxton) said that Dr. Smith is extremely excited,” Braswell said. “He is ready to start work next Wednesday at the latest. We’ve made some modifications. His attorney e-mailed me with a list of wording changes; they don’t change the substance of the agreement. I will plug those together today and get them back to Mr. Saxton over the weekend or Monday morning, and Dr. Smith will sign it.

“He has accepted it verbally, and he will sign it as soon as we put it together with the few changes that we have discussed.”

Yeager said that Smith would be at the office on Wednesday morning and would be present at the school board meeting on Monday, July 26, at 10 a.m.

Smith was the director of The Opportunity Academy at Riggins Alternative School in Birmingham.