The Pike Road school board has selected the first superintendent to oversee its new school system. The board of education voted Tuesday night to name Dr. Suzanne Freeman to the position.
The Board said the choice was a tough one when it came down to the final three candidates. The other two finalists were Dr. Craig Ross and Dr. Susan Cole. The finalists were not present for Tuesday night's vote which was unanimous for Freeman.
"All of the candidates gave exceptional interviews and are model examples of superb educators. That being said, there could only be one superintendent for the Pike Road school system," one board member said.
Freeman is a two-time graduate of Auburn University's College of Education. She was one of four finalists for National School Superintendent of the Year in 2009. She has earned a doctorate in early childhood education from Auburn University and was named the state superintendent of the year by the School Superintendents of Alabama.
While serving as superintendent of schools in Trussville, she led the system through the construction of a state-of-the-art high school and successfully launched unique high school curriculum additions, including the first biomedical academy.
Before becoming Trussville's superintendent, she worked for Cullman City Schools for four years. She had previously worked as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Auburn City Schools and as a principal in that system.
Freeman stated in her application that her belief in gaining input from parents and community stakeholders so that everyone feels ownership of their school. Currently retired from public education, she works as an education consultant.
"I'm really honored that we had three great candidates. I'm thrilled that we get to see this project go forward with such tremendous leadership. Dr. Freeman brings great expertise, having started school systems, having had the opportunity to be a national finalist for superintendent of the year," said Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone. "She currently works for other school systems in the start-up process so she has a strong resume no doubt about that."
"Now we can roll up our sleeves and get started ready to open schools," added school board member Morgan Simpson.
Officials said the school board was still working on a salary for the position.
Members of the community will have the chance to meet Dr. Freeman Wednesday morning at the Town Council Meeting which starts at 7 AM at the Pike Road Town Hall. WSFA's viewers will also have the chance to meet her and hear about her goals for the school system during Today in Alabama Wednesday morning.
The Pike Road School System was established in Dec. 2010 and its board members were named in May 2013. The system broke ground on its first school in Jan. 2014 and expects it to be open to K-8 students by Fall of 2015.
Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.