Pike Road school board to vote on new school superintendent - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Pike Road school board to vote on new school superintendent

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PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) -

The town of Pike Road will soon have its first superintendent to oversee its new school system. After a thorough selection and interview process, the school board will vote Tuesday night on who will fill the top spot.

The Pike Road School Board interviewed its third and final candidate for superintendent last Friday.

Dr. Suzanne Freeman is a two-time graduate of Auburn University's College of Education. She was one of four finalists for National School Superintendent of the Year in 2009. She has earned a doctorate in early childhood education from Auburn University and was named the state superintendent of the year by the School Superintendents of Alabama.

While serving as superintendent of schools in Trussville, she led the system through the construction of a state-of-the-art high school and successfully launched unique high school curriculum additions, including the first biomedical academy.

Before becoming Trussville's superintendent, she worked for Cullman City Schools for four years. She had previously worked as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Auburn City Schools and as a principal in that system.

Freeman stated in her application that her belief in gaining input from parents and community stakeholders so that everyone feels ownership of their school. Currently retired from public education, she works as an education consultant.

The second interview candidate was Dr. Craig Ross, who earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Auburn University. His area of research was high performing/high poverty schools.He currently serves as the principal of Robertsdale High School in Baldwin County. He oversees over 850 students and is an active part of the community, understanding the responsibility of leadership owed to teachers and stakeholders.

Dr. Ross stated in his application that he believes successful leadership requires an individual with a strong sense of character, integrity, and the ability to manage effectively, so as to empower those who work with you.

Most recently named to the University of Alabama's Superintendent Academy Class of 2014, Dr. Ross completed his bachelor's and master's degrees at Indiana University. He began his teaching career as a middle school and high school biology and chemistry teacher.

The school board also interviewed Dr. Susan Cole who earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Alabama and retired from public education in Calhoun, GA, according to a news release from Town of Pike Road. She was most recently the director of human resources for Gordon County Schools in Calhoun and the Title IIA coordinator for the public system in Calhoun.

There were 17 applicants for the new job, but the board narrowed its focus to three finalists.

Pike Road residents had the opportunity to meet each finalist on their interview dates and provided their feedback to the school board after each interview.

The Pike Road School System was established in Dec. 2010 and its board members were named in May 2013. The system broke ground on its first school in Jan. 2014 and expects it to be open to K-8 students by Fall of 2015.

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