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New principal tapped for HIS

Published 11:35am Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Parker from Lawrence Co. selected to replace Graf

Gaylon Parker of Moulton has been hired to be the new principal at Hartselle Intermediate School.

He is replacing Terry Graf, who decided to retire at the end of the school year after one year as principal.

Parker is currently the director of personnel and a middle school principal in the Lawrence County School System.

“He’s done a great job in Lawrence County,” Wilson said. “He has the ability to assess where a school is, process data and develop a plan of action.

“Our plan is to allow Gaylon the chance to shape and develop an identity for Hartselle Intermediate School.”

Parker was selected among 61 applicants for the open position. An 11-member committee, including six teachers, two custodians, two parents, technology director Tim Southerland, assistant superintendent Dr. Nancy Horton and Wilson, interviewed four finalists.

The committee cut the list to three after the interviews, after which Wilson vetted the references.

The committee cut the list to three after the interviews, after which Wilson vetted the references.

Wilson told the board Thursday night that he was planning to recommend Parker for the position. The hiring passed with a 4-0 vote and Parker will receive a three-year contract.

Board member Venita Jones, who chose not to vote on the new principal, expressed concerns with the timing of Wilson’s recommendation.

“I just felt like we were rushed into this decision,” Jones said. “I would have liked to have had more time to talk with committee members about the candidates. We needed more time to think about this because hiring a principal is a very important decision.”

Board member Dr. James Joy said you don’t always have the facts before making a decision.

“We’re almost like a jury,” Joy said. “We do not always have the information, but we have to put our trust in the superintendent.”

However, board member Randy Sparkman added, “We are voting to validate the process, not the person.”

Wilson said he believes Parker will unify the faculty and move them forward.

“He will be a presence and face at Hartselle Intermediate School,” Wilson said. “The committee liked him. He has K-12, 5-8 and central office experience.”

Other personnel actions included accepting resignations of Anita Monk as bookkeeper at F.E. Burleson Elementary, Gary Orr as assistant football coach, Jennifer Hensley as instructional aide, Chandler Orr as instructional aid and Kevin Shivers as girls soccer coach.

Faron Key was also hired as a social studies teacher and new Hartselle High School basketball coach.

Randy Garrison contributed to this report.

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