The Alabama State Department of Education has selected former superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson to serve in an interim capacity following approval of Michael Sentance's resignation.
Sentance resigned from the position Wednesday saying he was 'humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to serve".
Thursday's scheduled meeting was initially to discuss Sentance's contract. However, with his resignation, the topic shifted toward finding a replacement.
Richardson was recommended by members of the state board and approved by an 8-1 vote. The only no vote came from board member Betty Peters. Along with other board members, Ella Bell offered praise and expressed that Richardson's experience, particularly with interventions, would come in handy.
"Folks, we are at a crossroads at our state department of education," Gov. Kay Ivey said, "and it’s vitally important that we move forward in the right direction. We need a strong superintendent to steady the ship of education in our great state and I have a lot of confidence in Dr. Richardson.”
Richardson has an extensive background dealing with education in Alabama. He started his career in a Montgomery County classroom, later served as superintendent of the Auburn City Board of Education, then as the state superintendent of education for eight years between 1995 and 2004. After that, he served as President of Auburn University from 2004 to 2007.
Following his time at Auburn, his alma mater, Richardson served as an education consultant for both the Montgomery and Pike Road school districts.
Prior to the interim vote, the board discussed Sentance's resignation.
“We had disagreements, perhaps, but now it’s time to look forward to the next step,” said Board Vice President Stephanie Bell.
According to the board, Sentance will receive a payment equal to his salary for the remainder of the year. That comes to $57,000 plus a lump sum for insurance for the next 18 months. The board voted 9-0 to accept Sentance's resignation.
Sentance's short stint as superintendent was heavily scrutinized by the state board, as well as others in education.
SENTANCE'S RESIGNATION LETTER AND SEPARATION AGREEMENT
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