HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville City Schools (HCS) Superintendent Christie Finley announced in March that she will be retiring at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

But with that ending, comes the beginning of the search for a new HCS superintendent.

Former superintendent and longtime member of the Alabama State Board of Education Dr. Mary Jane Caylor sat down with Steve Johnson on Leadership Perspectives to discuss that search, what the new superintendent should do in order to be successful, what school systems should do to attract teachers and more.

Dr. Caylor first discussed the importance of the job, and why finding the right superintendent for the job is important as well.

“Huntsville is unique in a lot of ways. Being one of the largest cities in Alabama is one of the key points, but the recruitment of the industries and various commands… I worked with the recruitment team from 2005 to 2011, and one of the very important topics we were asked about in Northern Virginia, Maryland, Colorado and other places that we went was to talk about education. That was just top of their mind,” Dr. Caylor said. “We need to be sure that we’re competitive, that we’re educating children to be ready either go into the workforce, or to go into a business or industry, a 4-year.”

When it comes to discussing what things a superintendent can do to make themselves great, Dr. Caylor said one important thing for them to do is be immersed in the community as they are the front person for not only the students and school system, but really the community.

Attracting teachers to work for the school system is another important issue in a world where teachers could look in lot of places for work. Dr. Caylor said she believes is it’s about assisting the teachers and letting them know you will be there to assist them and work together.

“I think it’s vital that you have the right person in the principal’s role that understands curriculum and understands how to work with teachers, and to be sure that they are the mentor if needed…that they are the person there to assist these teachers. So I think that’s one of the things that’s missing in a lot of school systems across the country,” Dr. Caylor said.

To hear more from Dr. Caylor’s Leadership Perspectives interview, you can watch the full video in the player at the top of the page.