Jacksonville picks former St. Clair County educator as superintendent

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Jun. 14—JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville City School Board today selected Dr. Michael Howard to replace former Superintendent Mike Newell.

Howard was formerly superintendent of St. Clair County Schools. He was one of five finalists for the job.

Howard announced last year he would not run for re-election as St. Clair County's superintendent.

"I know it will probably come as a shock to some and a praise to others. I got into education to help kids, I didn't get into education to become a politician, and I feel at times, there's a major conflict there," the St. Clair Times, sister newspaper of The Anniston Star, quoted him as saying. "Being superintendent is hard enough, being a superintendent during COVID, impossible, (but) being an elected superintendent during COVID is a nightmare."

Howard added, "I want to make it abundantly clear: I am not retiring. This is not a retirement, I am just not going to be an elected official any longer."

Howard was elected as superintendent in 2018 after serving as principal at St. Clair County High School.

Newell announced his retirement in January.