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NBC 15 demands answers about final 3 candidates for Mobile County School Superintendent

(image: MCPSS logo)

The school district refused to release this information without a formal written request. We submitted that right away but it still took about 21 hours for even the most basic details about the men who want to be in charge of our students.

This morning we got this response: All 52 pages of each of our finalists applications.


Tuesday afternoon MCPSS released the following:

The Mobile County Board of School Commissioners voted Monday on three finalists for the superintendent post that will be filled on July 2.

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

Walter Fenn, a former superintendent in Texas and assistant superintendent in Chilton County Schools in central Alabama. He is now the principal of Hayes K-8 in Birmingham and is an educational consultant. Fenn has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Utah, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso, a Master of Educational Administration and an ABD Doctor of Education from Texas A&M University, and a Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership) in from Lamar University. He has taught Instructional Leadership at the University of Montevallo. In Texas, he was superintendent in Buckholts, Sabine Pass, Royal and Bremond Independent School Districts. Before that, he was an elementary and middle school principal in Taylor, Texas, and a math and science teacher in Dallas.

John Gunn, associate director of schools for Lawrence County Schools in Tennessee. Gunn has a bachelor’s degree in social science from Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee, a Master of Education (Special Education) from Tennessee State University, and a Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership) from Trevecca Nazarene University. His experience includes being principal of Mt. Pleasant High School in Tennessee, assistant principal, and director of attendance/discipline/grant writer for Dickson County Schools in Tennessee. He was the founding principal of New Directions Academy in Dickson County Schools. He has taught grades kindergarten through 12 as well as graduate school at Bethel University and Trevecca Nazarene University. He has also served as special-education head in two schools.

Chresal Threadgill, current chief of staff for Mobile County Public Schools. Before taking the second-highest post at MCPSS in September, he was superintendent of Elba City Schools and assistant superintendent in Troy City Schools, both in Alabama. Threadgill has a bachelor’s degree in education from Troy State University and a Master of Education in School Administration from Alabama State University. He has also served as director of federal programs; director of curriculum, instruction and assessment; and director of special education. He was principal of Charles Henderson Middle School in Troy, assistant principal and a classroom teacher. He was selected as Alabama’s District III Superintendent of the Year and has completed the Texas Superintendent Academy and the University of Alabama Superintendents Academy.

The finalists were selected from applications submitted as part of a national search.

The school board will publicly interview all three candidates on Monday, March 19, as follows:

8:30 – 9:25 a.m.: Board interview with Candidate 1

9:30 – 10:25 a.m.: Board interview with Candidate 2

10:30 – 11:25 a.m.: Board interview with Candidate 3

All three of those interviews will be conducted in the Board Room at Central Office, 1 Magnum Pass, in west Mobile. They will also be livestreamed on mcpssthewire.com and the Mobile County Public Schools’ Facebook page.

The candidates will have lunch with board members and then will meet with groups of MCPSS educators, the district’s Leadership Team, and various business leaders and community groups that partner with the school system.

They will publicly introduce themselves in open forums as follows:

3:45 – 4:15 p.m.: Introductory Presentation by Candidate 3

4:15 – 4:45 p.m.: Introductory Presentation by Candidate 1

4:45 – 5:15 p.m.: Introductory Presentation by Candidate 2

These presentations will also be livestreamed on mcpssthewire.com and the Mobile County Public Schools’ Facebook page.

Then, from 5:30-6 p.m., the public will be invited to share comments with the Board of School Commissioners.

The board plans to meet at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, to select a superintendent.

The new superintendent will take office on Monday, July 2.

The current superintendent, Martha Peek, is retiring at the end of June after four decades of service to Mobile County Public Schools.

The board welcomes comments from the public. Board member email addresses are available on the “Board of Education” page of mcpss.com.



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