Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Trussville hires Cullman schools chief

News staff writer

The Trussville School Board Monday tapped Cullman City Schools Superintendent Suzanne Freeman to be the school system's chief.

Freeman is expected to begin her duties by mid-October, said school board President Dennis Hill.

The five-member school board Monday night voted unanimously to hire Freeman and authorized Hill to negotiate a contract. Hill said Freeman's salary should be between $120,000 and $130,000.

The board conducted public interviews of Freeman and two other finalists, Janet Womack and Richard Ledbetter, at Hewitt-Trussville High School. Ledbetter is assistant superintendent for Tallapoosa County Schools, and Womack serves as director of instruction for Russell County Schools in Phenix City.

Hill said after the interviews that Freeman's experience as a superintendent gave her the edge over the other two candidates.

"(The board) knew that she would be able to come in and hit the ground running," he said.

Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said he was impressed with all three candidates.

"I think she is an outstanding choice," Melton said. "She's is a very energetic and focused person in education, and that's what we need in Trussville."

Freeman has served as superintendent of Cullman schools for the past four years. She earned a doctorate in curriculum and teaching from Auburn University. She has worked for Auburn City Schools as an assistant superintendent and principal for the Auburn Early Education Center.

Freeman said she is happy in Cullman, but couldn't pass up the chance to lead a new school system.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is very appealing," she said.

In May, following more than four years of discussion, the Trussville City Council agreed to form a school system in an effort to break away from the Jefferson County Schools.

Officials estimate a Trussville system could have around 3,000 students.

Hill said as soon as Freeman is under contract, formal negotiations between the Trussville and Jefferson County boards of education will begin.

In November, residents statewide will vote on a constitutional amendment that, if approved, will raise property taxes that the city's residents pay toward education to 35.1 mills.

The additional revenue, estimated to be around $700,000, would help support a proposed Trussville school system.

By the first of the year, the school board could be negotiating the split from the county with the U.S. Justice Department, which must approve the city's plans for a school system. Hill said if approved, the board could take over the schools by July 1, 2005.

Congratulations, Dr. Freeman. Welcome to Trussville, we hope you find it a good place for you and your family.

Oh, and War Eagle.

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