Alabama School of Cyber-Technology and Engineering searching for President and location

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Alabama School of Cyber-Technology and Engineering, a statewide public magnet school set to begin classes in August 2020, is on the hunt for a leader.

The school has begun a search for its President, with this job posting last week.

State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) said he has been elected Chairman of the board of trustees. He said they are looking for a visionary leader.

"We want somebody who has experience in leading a school, who understands how to structure classes and schedules and hiring faculty and all that. And also someone who is a visionary," he said. "Who has at least conversant in the area of the cyber and engineering world. At least has a working knowledge. That would be good but is not mandated," he said.

The application deadline is February 18, 2019. The posting said interviews will be held from March 25-29 and the President would begin working by May 1, 2019.

One year ago, Governor Kay Ivey announced the Alabama School of Cyber-Technology and Engineering would be based in Huntsville. Since then, the Alabama Legislature has committed seed-money. Orr said state lawmakers confirmed the government will continue to fund and support the school like it does the state's other two magnet schools, the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham and the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile.

A job pamphlet stated that the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering will begin taking student applications in the fall of 2019.

The goal is to begin small classes with a first group of students in August 2020 with the idea that the school would serve more than 300 students in grades 7-12 as it grew. In its first year, 100 students in 10th and 11th grades would be accepted, and the school will need 12 full or part-time teachers and support staff to begin with.

But first, it needs a location.

Senator Orr said the board and state are not ready to release what location they are considering, although he hinted that their identified choice is not yet finalized.

A temporary location would come in the more immediate future.

"We've found what I think are some temporary facilities for this, so we can get started," he said. "We are looking at private donations and other ways to raise money for a permanent location, but even in a temporary facility which we are working to secure and believe we have a site there in Huntsville, we are going to continue to need funding from the state."

The school would be a residential one, with dormitories and students from across the state who want to participate in specialized curriculum related to the growing fields of cyber and engineering.

Leaders have said the school's graduates will be a home-grown workforce ready to support Alabama's economy.

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