MADISON, Ala. - Thursday, Madison City Schools Superintendent Dee Fowler sat with the board at the front of the boardroom for the last time. By their next meeting, he will no longer be superintendent. He resigned to take a job with the state.
Board members presented him with sentimental gifts, including a name plate, to express their appreciation for the time they've spent with him over the years.
"I'm embarrassed somewhat," he told WHNT News 19, "because everything that happened in Madison City Schools, I just had the pleasure of sitting back and watching. I'm very serious. We have the best kids in this community, the best parents, teaching staff, administrators, and I was just a lucky person who was in the right place at the right time."
Fowler said it's going to feel a little strange not to be there anymore.
"I have been to two board meetings every month in Madison City since 1997, so not coming to a board meeting in Madison in December is going to feel somewhat awkward."
Board president Terri Johnson noted that Fowler is humble and reluctant to sing his own praises, but many chose to do so for him Thursday.
"Nobody will be able to fill your shoes," said Robby Parker, assistant superintendent, before presenting Fowler with the gift of a pair of shoes.
Thursday, the board approved a job description and application for the new superintendent candidates. They need to have a minimum of 5 years experience in public school administration, a degree with proper certifications, and be willing to relocate into the city of Madison. But board members say it's not just what they have on paper that matters.
"As a leader of children, a leader in our community, you want somebody with the highest moral character," explained Johnson.
Fowler suggested, "I think, a person with a lot of passion and a lot of courage. A person who loves children."
Johnson said the application process will be from November 18 to December 19. They want to appoint a new superintendent February 2, 2017, following interviews with finalists.