During the Scottsboro City Schools Board of Education meeting on June 30, board attorney Taylor Brooks presented the board with the plan to conduct a search for a new superintendent.
The plan cited that if there was a clear No. 1 across all the board members, Brooks would come to the board with a recommendation rather than draw out the process with unnecessary interviews.
During Thursday’s board meeting, Brooks came back to the board and made a recommendation. With that, the board voted unanimously to make Amy Childress the new superintendent.
“For me, personally, we had someone within the system who had done a good job and stepped up when we had the unexpected loss of Dr. [Jose] Reyes and seemed to have a lot of support within the community and within the system so that’s who I felt like was the best qualified candidate at this time,” board President Patricia Stewart said.
Childress initially entered the Scottsboro City Schools system five years ago to take the job as the federal programs and elementary curriculum director. Two years later, Childress moved up to be assistant superintendent of federal programs and curriculum and instruction.
“I’m very overwhelmed. This has been the professional highlight of my career, I’m so excited. I just want to thank our board members for entrusting me, this is the opportunity to work with a great team every day, I feel blessed and I feel like this is just the opportunity of a lifetime,” Childress said.
After Reyes announced his retirement at the end of the last school year, Childress was named interim superintendent and helped organize the school reopening plan.
“Getting the opportunity to be interim [superintendent], it’s incredible. We just had to focus on the work each week and it’s been a tough summer. We’ve had lots of changes in our staff, we’ve had, with all of our ESSER money, our federal funds, we’ve had lots of extra things to do in addition to the staffing pieces, so there’s been lots of moving parts, but we focused on that. I just tried to focus on doing a great job no matter what it is I’m doing so, for me, it’s been a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it and I’m just extremely thankful,” Childress said.
Originally, it seemed possible that a permanent superintendent wouldn’t be named until after the school year had started, with the last superintendent search producing over 20 applicants. However, this search only had seven applicants, possibly due to the timing of the opening with the school year fast approaching, allowing the board to make a quick decision.
“I think that it gives the students and the parents and the teachers a continuity that they needed this time. We’ve had so many changes and this is somebody who’s been in the system for several years. I think that allows that continuity in someone that they already know, they don’t have to get used to and learn how that person works. They already know Mrs. Childress and they know how she works, and they know she’s approachable,” Stewart said. “I hope everybody will give her a chance and if you don’t know her, come by and meet her. She’s really open and she’s willing to talk to everybody, I just really appreciate the fact that she was willing to step up because I had no idea we were going to be looking for a new superintendent this soon.”