MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery County Board of Education voted 6-1 Friday to hire former Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Ann Moore as interim superintendent.
Board Vice President Lesa Keith voted in favor of the second candidate, former Phenix City Superintendent Larry DiChiara. Moore and DiChiara were both interviewed Friday afternoon.
"To the best of my ability, I will do everything that I can to help expedite issues that are there and take care of those issues, to deal with the state on the intervention process that has been put in place or that will be put in place and to help orchestrate solutions to those issues so that when I leave, the school system will be at least five months ahead of where they would have been had I not been here," Moore said.
Earlier this week, some board members expressed concern about the small pool of candidates and the short time frame to hire an interim.
Interim State Superintendent of Education Dr. Ed Richardson said hiring an interim superintendent would just mean more money coming out of the MPS budget, but it was a board decision, independent of the state.
One week ago, the MPS board approved a settlement agreement between the Alabama State Department of Education and the Alabama Education Association that allowed MPS to hire a new superintendent. Keith voted against approving the settlement.
Based on the settlement, the MCBOE was permitted to hire an interim superintendent and legal in-house counsel within 30 days of the executed agreement and a permanent superintendent by May 30.
According to the settlement, the new superintendent will be provided use of the superintendent's office and the resources to do the job.
In November, the state named Reginald Eggleston the MPS chief administrative officer as part of the intervention of the school district.
"The Chief Administrative Officer will be provided with convenient, adequate, and appropriate office space and resources at the facility where the superintendent's office is located," the settlement stated.
The settlement requires the state superintendent to develop a written intervention plan by Jan. 26 and present it to the MPS board.
Richardson gave a blunt assessment of MPS during Thursday's state school board meeting and said he's working on an "aggressive" plan to fix the situation.
Richardson told state board members the school system intervention is taking more time than it should.
A feasibility study on whether the system is able to close schools is due out next week, according to Richardson.
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange held a press conference Thursday where he encouraged community members to run for the five board seats that will be up for election this year.