Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Akin is one step closer to leaving a job he started just over a year ago.
The Gulf Shore City School Board unanimously voted to enter contract negotiations with Akin Monday.
"My concerns with Dr. Akin was that he was coming from a smaller school district and he might not be able to handle the challenges of a larger school district," said Eddgra Fallin who lives in Huntsville.
She told us she always had concerns about Matt Akin, but she knew he came with a strong background.
"I could tell he had an educators heart and was generally concerned about children and their education," she said.
Akin told Gulf Shores School Board during his interview that he wanted to be a part of a smaller school district and more hands on.
Monday, the board voted to make him the district's first superintendent. That was less than a week after interviewing him and of Akin telling Huntsville's Board he was looking to leave.
School board president Elisa Ferrell said Huntsville schools will be fine with or without Akin.
"The average stay of a superintendent is only 2 years. That's not uncommon across the country. It is uncommon in Huntsville. The rest of the country has experienced it. We're going to be okay. We're going to do everything we can to protect our students, staff and familie," she said.
Dr. Akin was one of 27 applicants for the Gulf Shores job, however he was the only candidate the District interviewed for the position.
For now, Akin is still Huntsville City School's Superintendent, and Ferrell told me if things don't work out with Gulf Shores she’s okay with him remaining Huntsville City Schools Superintendent.
"I understand how it's a big challenge. I think we could move forward and work together. He's got a lot of good ideas for the future," she said.
Gulf Shores School Board will now enter contract negotiations with Akin. It took several weeks for Huntsville to hammer out a deal with Akin last year. He wanted more money than the District initially offered.
Dr. Matt Akin sent this statement to WAAY 31..
"This afternoon, the Gulf Shores Board of Education has notified me about their intention to offer the superintendent’s position. It is an honor to be selected and I look forward to reviewing the terms of the contract. It is an incredibly unique opportunity to be able to work with the board to develop a new school system from the ground up. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been very supportive.
At the same time, I truly care about everyone in Huntsville, and I came to the district because I believe in the potential of the schools and the city. The foundation is in place to support greatness. With the help of the teachers, administrators and the community, I believe that Huntsville City Schools can be a model school system for the country. All of us on the Huntsville City Schools team have worked to develop strategies for personalized instruction, new resources to support literacy and math, and drafting our Indicators of Future Success. We have also worked to reduce our spending while providing appropriate resources and developing a long-range plan for competitive pay for our teachers. I will work tirelessly with the board and staff to ensure Huntsville City Schools will have all the elements in place to start the 2018-2019 school year. "