Finalists set for DCS superintendent job

Two women and three men make up the five finalists for the position of superintendent of Demopolis City Schools.

Dr. Laura Ingram with the Alabama Association of School Boards, who led the search process for a new superintendent, presented the candidates to the board at its meeting Tuesday.

“You have five strong candidates,” she told the board, but added, “Don’t drag out the process. The quicker you can get somebody hired, the better it will be.”

She said the position is “an attractive job,” so much so that the AASB had 28 applicants from eight states, including Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, Michigan, Arkansas and Georgia, in addition to Alabama.

All five candidates, however, now hold positions in Alabama.

The next step begins Monday, July 20, when the first of the public interviews of the candidates begins. Each applicant will be interviewed separately on succeeding days from 5-7 p.m. in Rooster Hall.

Ingram encouraged everyone at the board meeting to attend the interviews and talk with the candidates during the “meet and greet” portion of the evening.

“If nobody comes, then don’t say, ‘That’s not who we wanted as superintendent’,” she said.

Her comments were echoed by board members. Connie Brown encouraged members of the audience to attend “and bring somebody with you.”

Board chairman Conrad Murdock said he realized everyone can’t attend each of the five interviews, but he stressed how important it was to have members of the community be on hand.

The board now is preparing the questions that will be asked of each of the candidates.

Dr. James Keith Davis has been the superintendent of Winfield City Schools since 2010. Prior to that he served as assistant superintendent with Corinth City Schools in Mississippi; principal of schools in both the Pontotoc City and Lafayette County Schools in Mississippi; assistant principal of Horn Lake Middle School in Mississippi and teacher at Southaven High School in Mississippi.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Arkansas State and his master’s and doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Tena “Elisabeth” Davis is director of Curriculum and Instruction with Pelham City Schools. She served as assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction with Tuscaloosa City Schools and Distance Learning Instructor with the University of Alabama. She also held the positions of School Improvement Specialist and Program Specialist with Shelby County Schools and was both an assistant principal and a teacher in the system.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education/English from Jacksonville State, a master’s in Secondary Education and English Language Arts at UA and her doctorate in Education Leadership from Samford University.

Kyle S. Kallhoff is superintendent of Chickasaw City Schools since 2012. Prior to then he served as technology trainer with Software Technology Inc.; assistant superintendent and director of instruction with Clarke County Schools; assistant superintendent with Fairfield County Schools in South Carolina and testing and data specialist with Mobile County Schools.

Kalhoff earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Special Education from the University of South Alabama.

Dr. Donald R. McPherson has been superintendent of Coffee County Schools since 2011. He also has been Federal Programs Director with Cullman County Schools; 21st Century Director with Lawrence County Schools; assistant principal with Blount County, and a teacher in the Arab City schools.

McPherson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in math education from Auburn University and his doctorate in Educational Leadership from UA.

Dr. Frances “Vicky” Spears is principal in Cullman County and also serves as adjunct professor at UA. Her past experience includes Federal Programs Director, Secondary Curriculum Coordinator, and teacher with Cullman County schools and a teacher in Autauga County.

Spears earned her bachelor’s degree from Athens State and her master’s and doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama Birmingham.