Matt Massey reflects on time at Madison County, challenge ahead at magnet school

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala.- This week, Madison County school leaders plan to pick a new interim superintendent.

Matt Massey is in his last week as superintendent after his resignation was approved last week.

Massey says he's proud of improved test scores and more kids taking AP courses in the county. Starting Monday, he'll start work hiring the staff and forming the curriculum for the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering.

"Between $30 and $40 million, that's kind of the going rate," Massey said.

Superintendent Matt Massey says that's about how much it'll cost to build the future magnet school in Huntsville. There are no local tax dollars to help him out and he hasn't hired a single person yet.

"All 700,000 students in the state are going to have access to what's going on here," Massey said.

It's a large pool to draw from, but a challenge nonetheless. Massey's desk is clean and his boxes are mostly packed.

"The camaraderie that we have here working in the school system and it's like we're one big family," Massey said.

A family he's leaving after five years of serving as superintendent in Madison County.

"We got our AP scores in a couple of days ago and had a record number of qualifying scores and college credit earned," Massey said.

The board approved his resignation last week and will pick a short-term successor this week.

"I won't have any input in that. I do expect the board to name an interim," Massey said.

Massey's new post also means he won't have to campaign. The Madison County schools superintendent is one of around three dozen superintendents elected in Alabama.

"You do your job every day. And if you do it right, you're kind of interviewing for your job every day," Massey said.

Starting Monday, Massey begins his new position as president at the magnet school, which will be built in Research Park. He has around a year to hire staff, hammer out a curriculum and recruit over 100 kids to live and study at UAH.

"Their classroom is going to be outside the traditional classroom and the workplace," Massey said.

Madison County school kids start class on August 7th. Massey says the superintendent search won't cause any ripples for families.

The first classes at the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering won't start for another year. Massey says by Christmas, he hopes to have a website set up on which kids can apply to get in.

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