Little is interim superintendent

Published 9:09 am Monday, October 24, 2011

In a vote split geographically, the Escambia County School Board voted to name Assistant Superintendent Randall Little as the interim superintendent for the system, effective Dec. 1.

Little and another assistant superintendent, Mary Bess Powell, were the only candidates for the position. Board members Donnie Crutchfield, Cindy Jackson, Danny Benjamin and Mike Goolsby voted for Little; all represent areas from Flomaton and west of the county. Sherry Digmon, William Grissett and Chuck Brooks, all of whom represent from Flomaton east, voted for Powell.

Little will replace retiring Superintendent Billy Hines until a permanent superintendent is named.

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“Mr. Hines’ resignation will be effective Dec. 1,” board Chairman Mike Goolsby said. “We have 180 days to name a new superintendent. We need to have an interim in place while we conduct the search for a new superintendent.”

Little said he was happy to accept the position.

“I appreciate the board’s effort and the decision they had to make,” Little said. “I wish they didn’t have to make this decision. I wish that Mr. Hines would remain here. I understand his decision and I look forward to the challenge.”

Goolsby told the board the interim superintendent would be eligible to apply for the position once it is advertised — but Little would not comment on his intentions to do so.

“We will just cross that bridge later,” Little said. “I look forward to working with this board.”

Little said his working relationship with Powell would continue.

“Mrs. Powell and I have always had a good working relationship here,” Little said. “I expect that to continue as we work together through this transitional process.”

With no changes on the horizon, Little said he expects things to continue to run smoothly at the Escambia County Board of Education.

“There won’t be any major changes here,” Little said. “Everyone will continue to work closely with each other. I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Goolsby gave a timeline on the process of selecting a new superintendent for Escambia County.

“Beginning at our December meeting we will make some decisions on how the process will be handled,” Goolsby said. “We will determine what the job description will be as well as the title, what the qualifications will be and the salary range. We will also determine where to post the job announcement, determine a deadline and where the applications will be sent.”

Goolsby said the January meeting will move forward with an agreement to post the position for not less than 30 days. A review of the applications will be done in February by either a committee or the full board with interviews conducted in late February or early March.

“After we conduct the interviews, we hope to name a new superintendent by late March or the first of April,” Goolsby said. “They would begin the job in May.”