Ohio's Reynoldsburg City Schools Superintendent Dr. Melvin Brown has been selected as the next Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent.
Brown, who has been Reynoldsburg superintendent since 2017, was selected from four finalists, including Lawrence (Kansas) Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis, KIPP Public Schools (Texas) Deputy Chief of Academics Dr. Marla Sheppard, and Griffin-Spalding County (Georgia) Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. Donald Warren.
Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams had been a finalist, but she withdrew from consideration after being selected as New Orleans (Louisiana) schools superintendent.
Pending Brown's acceptance, negotiations will begin.
Alabama Association of School Boards conducted interviews with the board and the community before announcing the finalists in March. Questions from the board during the interview process included fiscal management, holding teachers accountable and how to conduct a smooth transition. Concerns from the community included transparency.
Brown was announced at a special school board meeting on Friday. The interviews had taken place earlier in the week and the previous week.
More about the MPS superintendent search:
Brown holds a doctorate from Ohio State University in Educational Studies, a master's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Education Administration, and a bachelor's degree from James Madison University in English.
He's been a visiting professor at Ohio State University; deputy superintendent at Cuyahoga Falls City Schools; director of human resources at Cuyahoga Falls City Schools; regional vice president at Mosaica Education, Inc.; associate director of ROSworks, LLC; principal at Spotsylvania County Public Schools; associate superintendent at Prince William County Public Schools; principal/ supervisor of multicultural education at Prince William County Public Schools.
The vote was unanimous.
"And the fact that it was a unanimous vote just makes my heart happy because the community is behind us," said Board President Clare Weil, who represents district 2.
During public interviews at a chamber of commerce event, Brown stressed the theme of equity.
Brown had discussed his past experiences with student advisory councils. School board member Arica Smith of district 7 said she had received positive feedback from the community about his willingness to communicate.
Board member Brenda Coleman of district 3 related to Brown. She said she had lived the life many MPS children had lived and that Brown shared similar experiences.
"But I think it was the way he shared that I felt like his relationship in this community would be a good and compatible relationship," Coleman said.
The next superintendent will be entering the school system with a lot of changes: MPS came out from under state intervention in December, for financial and achievement deficiencies. Concerns around the coronavirus remain. And the school system will soon have money from the ad valorem tax.
Five of the seven school board seats are up for re-election, with one incumbent, Jannah Bailey, choosing not to run again.
"And, you know, when I decided to run three and a half years ago, I knew that we were at a real crossroads," Bailey said about this being one of her last actions as a school board member. "And, for me, we have everything we've checked off, that we have accomplished together. And, so, to add that as part of history and part of my history, is something I'm gonna tell my grandkids about for sure."
At the beginning of the session, Weil thanked outgoing superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore and told her that she has made the MPS superintendent job a "dream job."
The next news in the process could be as soon as the Tuesday board meeting, said Claudia Mitchell, district 6 representative and board vice president.
Jemma Stephenson is the children and education reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. She can be reached at email@example.com or 334-261-1569.
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Dr. Melvin Brown: Montgomery Public Schools superintendent