Douthitt to bring 12 years’ administrative experience to county

Published 6:34 pm Friday, March 19, 2010

On Thursday night before a packed house, the Butler County Board of Education named their choice to be the new superintendent.

Darren Douthitt, an assistant superintendent in the Lee County School System since June 2008, was the unanimous selection to helm the county’s school system.

Board president Billy Jones explained the process by which Douthitt, one of four finalists, was chosen.

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“After each interview, each board member rated the candidate on a scale of one to five,” Jones said.

“I then took those numbers, added them up and divided by the total number of board members. I took my figures and the information to our lawyer, Pete Hamilton, and he re-checked to make sure my results were correct . . . the person with the highest average score was Mr. Douthitt.”

Board member Terry Williams was unable to attend the interviews with Douthitt and Dr. Kathy Murphy due to a death in his family. Jones said the other four board members rated those two candidates, with their added totals divided by four instead of five.

“I made the recommendation in favor of M. Douthitt . . . I believe this was done fairly and democratically,” Jones said.

“I think we made a good choice and now we can move on with things in our system,” said BOE vice-president Linda Hamilton.

Douthitt, 44, is a native of Ohatchee and a graduate of Ohatchee High School. Raised with nine siblings by his widowed father, he went on to attend Jacksonville State University for his B.A. degree. He also received his teacher certification, M.S. in Education Certification in Administration and Ed.S. in Administration from JSA.

Douthitt attended the Superintendent’s Academy Class of 2007 and has completed all his coursework for Ed.D. at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

He started his career in education as a teacher for the Anniston City School System, teaching English, Speech, Multicultural Studies and GRE Remediation from 1993 to 1998. He became assistant principal in Pell City Schools from 1998 to 1999.

Douthitt spent two years as the principal of Glenn Middle School in Birmingham. From 2001 to 2003, he served as principal of Anniston High School.

For one year, Douthitt was the Chief Administrative Officer for Carver High School in Montgomery, responsible for leadership and guidance in all aspects of the instructional program. He moved to the helm of Talladega High School from 2004-2008.

In his current position in Lee County, Douthitt is responsible for the supervision and leadership of secondary curriculum and instruction.

During his interview, Douthitt promised transparency and honesty in all board matters, with a firm, fair and consistent attitude toward discipline and high-tech savvy that could benefit the system. He said his desire is to have schools that are welcoming and courteous to parents and the community.

“I strive to lead by example,” he said.

Douthitt is married to Tonya Wilson Douthitt. The father of one son, he enjoys serving as a coach for youth and church league sports and has refereed high school basketball since 2001.

He was not available for additional comments at press time.