Thompson addresses résumé criticism

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Introduced as 'Doctor' Barbara Thompson on many occasions during her first two months on the job, Montgomery's new school superintendent is the talk of talk radio.

Callers and hosts have questioned Thompson's résumé and whether she's really a Ph.D.

In it, the superintendent wrote she would finish her degree, which gives her the title of 'doctor' by the end of this summer.

However, the University of Wisconsin tells WSFA 12 News Thompson is currently enrolled in the Fall semester.

Thompson says she's hiding nothing.

"I very clearly stated to the school board exactly where I was in my degree program--that I had finished all my graduate work, and that I was a dissertator," she said.

In fact, Thompson is still working on her dissertation--one of the last things in the way of being called 'doctor.'

"I would say that I know what my topic is, and I have the data from my previous school district," she explained.

Still, you can't help but notice those two letters.

'Dr.' can be found posted on invitations, finalist announcements, even Thompson's temporary nameplate at the Montgomery County Board of Education.

"Are there people who might confuse and call me doctor? Yes, there are.  Do I correct all of those people?  No, I don't," Thompson said.

The superintendent maintains she earned the position fair and square.

"It was not a requirement for this job, and it was not something contractually I needed for this job," she said.

"I'm feeling I have really good training for this position.  I don't have to make up having a doctorate."

When asked when she'll finish her dissertation, Thompson says the date depends on her work schedule.

She tells WSFA 12 News she'll be submitting her work electronically and may use video conferencing to finish the process at the University of Wisconsin.

Thompson reminded us that only a few of previous superintendents in Montgomery had earned doctorates.

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