Decatur City Schools Board of Education starts process to find new superintendent

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT)-- Decatur City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols already announced his retirement, planned for the end of this school year.

"Walking the halls, seeing kids, talking to teachers, you begin to feel a little nostalgic about it," said Nichols.

To hire his replacement, the board of education is looking for a firm to handle recruitment and aid in the search. Board President Karen Duke said the board members have been researching and preparing to choose one, but after a meeting on Wednesday they're still on the hunt.

"That does take time, and it takes a lot of energy," she said, "But we're working on it right now."

Finding a firm is a first step in the process, which can take a while. They're hoping to have a superintendent picked by June when Nichols is scheduled to retire, but Duke said he is willing to stay a little longer if he has to. They can post the job once they find the firm to help, and move forward.

"We are looking for the person who's the right fit for Decatur City Schools that has succeeded in student achievement," she said. She added that this is a nationwide search, and they're looking for someone who can also bond with the Decatur community.

But they have several things on their side in this endeavor.

"The board members are all on the same page," she said. "I have every ounce of confidence that the five of us together will make a very good decision."

After his retirement, Nichols will be a regular parent. He has a daughter in the school system and plans to stick around. "I'm excited as a parent of the things we have on the horizon and who might come in to help us do even better things," he said. "The next superintendent has a great opportunity to come into a school system that has been able to get their finances in a place to build two schools, to raise test scores and graduation rates."