B’ham community reacts to appointment of Dr. Sullivan as full time superintendent

New Birmingham City Schools superintendent

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Education advocates and parents are applauding Birmingham City School leaders’ decision to promote Dr. Mark Sullivan to permanent superintendent.

The decision comes after Monday’s special called meeting. Dr. Sullivan served as interim superintendent after former Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring took over the Atlanta Public School System in Georgia.

Richard Franklin, President of the Birmingham chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, says the appointment is one he stands behind as an education advocate who represents Birmingham City School employees and as a parent. He says Dr. Sullivan has the credentials to back up this appointment and he’s shown great leadership in the way he’s stepped in and stepped up for students during the pandemic.

“Dr. Sullivan didn’t have much time. He made sure our kids had devices - teachers had devices,” said Franklin. “I think if Dr. Sullivan can deal with COVID, he can deal with anything.”

District leaders voted Monday 7 to 1 to move forward with promoting Dr. Sullivan. Member Mary Boehm expressed concern about not reviewing all the applicants first, but members agreed time is of the essence before schools start September 8.

Birmingham City School parents say Dr. Sullivan not only brings stability during an unconventional school year, but stability to a district that’s seen multiple superintendents and interim superintendents over the last few years. He hopes Dr. Sullivan’s connection to Birmingham will make him stay.

“We’re tired of the revolving door,” said parent Tyrone Silmon. “So, this time we’ve got someone from the community who understands the community.”

The district still has to approve the contract. No word on when that vote will be.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.