MPS selects Ann Moore as full-time superintendent

(ABOVE): Ann Moore gives an answer during a meeting held by the Montgomery County Board of Education on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 to interview interim superintendent candidates, in Montgomery, Ala.

Montogmery Public Schools’ (MPS) interim superintendent has been selected for the full-time superintendent.

Ann Roy Moore, the 2008 Superintendent of the Year in Huntsville City Schools, was selected out of four finalists, including former Demopolis City Schools superintendent Robert Griffin, former Selma City Schools superintendent Angela Mangum, and former Phenix City Schools superintendent and 2012 Superintendent of the Year Larry DiChiara.

Questions from the board during the interview process included how to improve student discipline, how to create a culture of academic excellence, and what the most important first step is for a new superintendent.

“I really have enjoyed working in Montgomery. I see Montgomery as a challenge. It’s not a challenge I have to have. To be honest, it’s something I like doing,” Moore said. “I thank you for trusting in me and giving me the opportunity.”

Moore was announced after an executive session held to discuss “good name and character,” a session in which the scores were tallied and members of the Alabama Education Association participated.

The vote was 6-1.

Pending approval by the state superintendent and Moore coming out of retirement, Moore will continue to lead a school system facing several challenges.

MPS received a D overall on its state report card — with 66 percent of the district’s schools receiving a D or F — due to high student absentee rates and a large gap between the graduation rate and college and career readiness.

The report cards were based on the 2016-2017 school year using ACT Aspire scores, a test that the state has elected to do away with. Still, the scores were not encouraging with only 27 percent of MPS students testing as proficient in math, 28 percent in reading and 23 percent in science. States averages were 39 percent in reading, 44 percent in math and 35 percent in science.

MPS is under state intervention due to academic and financial deficiencies. MPS has no 2018 budget now seven months into the 2018 fiscal year, primarily due to a disagreement between the local school board and the state intervention team regarding how to free up dollars in order to meet the state-required one-month operating reserve.

Moore said handling the accreditation review process is imperative and that work is already being done in predicted areas of concern.

Moore will be paid $220,000 to come out of retirement, $60,000 more than previous superintendent Margaret Allen earned.

Finalists were selected Monday by ranking the 12 candidates on a scale from 1 to 5, with the top four selected. Moore received the most points with each board member besides Keith giving her a five, Keith said.

The salary for Moore has yet to be negotiated.