Locals named finalists in Crenshaw superintendent hunt

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Crenshaw County School System has narrowed its hunt for a superintendent down to just five finalists.  Two of them are familiar faces for Butler County residents.

Jennifer Burt, career tech director for Butler County Schools, and Joseph Eiland, administrative assistant for Butler County Schools, are in contention for the position.

Last February, both Eiland, who was an education specialist with the Alabama Department of Education at the time, and Burt were named finalists for Butler County Schools’ own superintendent position.

Email newsletter signup

Rounding out the shortlist are Ashley Catrett, director of assessment and accountability for Crenshaw County Schools, Dodd Hawthorne, director of maintenance and transportation for Crenshaw County Schools, and Donnie Powell, principal of Straughn High School of Covington County Schools.

Dr. Dennis Coe, interim superintendent of Crenshaw County Schools, said that the hunt began sometime in December with 16 total applicants.

“It was a well-rounded group of individuals who had a lot of experience,” Coe said.

“Some were in-state applicants, and others were from outside the state.”

The five finalists are either from Crenshaw County or work in an adjacent school system, though Coe said that there were several factors beyond proximity that the board considered.

“The board wanted someone who had experience at multiple levels and who understood Crenshaw County and the operations of a small school system in Alabama,” Coe added. “Want someone who can lead and mentor an existing staff, and basically be an encourager and coach people up to do their jobs better. And we want someone that would be willing to live here and move here and be willing to stay for a long period of time.

“You can be from a large school system and still function in a smaller system, but typically in your smaller school sytems superintendents wear multiple hats and need to be familiar with the entire operation, whereas sometimes individuals from larger districts only have a small view in one particular area.”

Interviews for the five finalists, which will be open to the public, will be held on the week of Feb. 5 across two different days, with specifics to made public at a later date.