Alabama Board of Education names new state superintendent

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Just in time for the new school year, the Alabama Board of Education has selected a new superintendent who will oversee nearly 900 employees at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

Michael Sentance, former Massachusetts Secretary of Education and regional representative to the U.S. Department of Education, was voted to the position at the Thursday morning board meeting in Montgomery.

Last week Gov. Robert Bentley, president of the board, said he wanted a leader who would improve the state’s national education rankings.

“It’s very important that we choose a leader that has in mind improved achievement for our students so they can be prepared to live a quality life, get a job, support themselves and support their families,” said Bentley.

The board interviewed six educators from across the country last week to replace former superintendent Tommy Bice, who retired this spring after working for four years in the Alabama State Department of Education.

The the other five finalists for the position were:

— Bill Evers, research fellow at Stanford University

— Dee Fowler, superintendent of Madison City Schools

— Craig Pouncey,  superintendent of Jefferson County Schools and former deputy state superintendent

— Jeana Ross,  secretary of the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

— Janet Womack,  superintendent of Florence City Schools

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