HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Since the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education voted to appoint Matt Akin as the next superintendent, it has been a race to get him to the Rocket City.
The board has been conducting public negotiations, electing to handle the process themselves instead of keeping it between attorneys. Board members say it is an effort to be transparent.
The board's most recent offer, which Matt Akin accepted, is a base salary of $195,000 with other benefits, including a $900 a month car allowance and moving expenses.
The board still needed to approve revisions and make the contract official.
Monday, they met for a special meeting and the board has reached an agreement. They voted 3-1 to accept the contract. The board president said Pam Hill was under the weather and that's why she was absent from the meeting.
This vote makes Akin's contract official. His first day on the job will be March 13.
Akin tells WHNT News 19 he will formally submit his resignation at the Piedmont Board of Education meeting Thursday.
He said in a statement via email:
"I am honored to have been chosen as the superintendent of Huntsville City Schools and I look forward to starting next Monday and working with our Board to meet the needs of all of the students in Huntsville. I am very excited to begin meeting with our teachers, administrators, and community to identify and address the challenges that may be slowing progress in our schools. Most importantly, I am eager to hear from our students and parents to learn how I can serve each of them."
"He's already looking for places to live with his wife, they're getting ready to pack up and move here," explained board president Elisa Ferrell. "It was a long process to get to that, but I think we ended up with a good end product for him and for us, and we're ready to move ahead."
Board member Michelle Watkins-- who was the lone dissenting vote on the contract Monday with concerns about removing a clause requiring Akin to get a medical exam-- echoed that statement about moving forward.
"I'm just ready for the new superintendent to come on board, let's move forward and start working for the children," she said. "There's no need to dwell on it. Just going to move forward. Hopefully Dr. Akin is going to come in here, work hard, and turn our school system around. I want him to put a focus on the schools, especially in my school district, because we have a lot of issues."