BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - After a week in limbo, Birmingham's school board has a new president tonight. Former President W.J. Maye will take the leadership role again, just a week before the board begins interviewing finalists for the superintendent job.
Maye got only 1 vote last week when he was absent and the board failed to elect a new president. This week, he won 6-3 over Phyllis Wynne.
Virginia Volker received 4 votes last week, but wasn't nominated this week, and all of her voters lined up behind Maye. Those same 6 elected Volker vice president of the board minutes later.
"The board decided what they wanted to do, so I'm gonna do my best, with their help, to be a good leader," Maye said.
"We couldn't get her through the first time, and our second choice, my second choice was Mr. Maye because I feel like he's an outstanding person in the community and I wanted to give him my vote," said new board member Edward Maddox, who is one of the voters that switched from Volker to Maye. He added, "I was hoping we could get Virginia in as vice president and we were successful in doing that, I'm happy about it.
"I don't think I was the compromise, I think I'm capable," Maye said.
The board's first test will be a round of interviews for the 5 superintendent finalists announced tonight.
Those 5 are
-Dr. Kathy Augustine, deputy superintendent of Atlanta public schools
-Dr.Frederick Hill, assistant superintendent of Tupelo, MS public schools
-Dr. Deborah Horn, a professor at Miles College who once worked in Birmingham City Schools before becoming superintendent in Bessemer.
-Dr. Valya Lee, assistant superintendent of Clayton County Public Schools in Jonesboro, Georgia
-Dr. Craig Witherspoon, the superintendent in Edgecome County, North Carolina.
The first round of interviews for these 5 finalists starts next Friday night and goes through the weekend.