Hartselle board agrees to renew superintendent’s contract
By Deangelo McDaniel
For the Enquirer
The Hartselle City Schools Board of Education will renew the contract of Superintendent Dee Dee Jones and has authorized its board president to handle the negotiations.
Jones is in the last year of a contract that pays her $147,642 annually and ends June 30. The contract requires the board to give her six-month notice as to whether it intends to renew the contract.
“Hartselle has been on an elevated trajectory since Dr. Jones became superintendent,” board president Daxton Maze said. “Our students are excelling academically, athletically and with extracurricular activities.”
Maze said anything he negotiates will require board approval, and he’s looking at recommending a three- to five-year contract that will definitely come with a raise.
“Prior performance carries a lot of weight,” he said, adding Hartselle continues to be one of the best school districts in the state. “We’re pleased with the job she is doing.”
Jones, who credits employees for the district’s success, said she’s thankful for the confidence the board has showed in her and for the opportunity to work in Hartselle.
Maze said he’ll have “serious talks” with Jones hopes to have a new contract in place by mid-March.
After serving as a teacher, principal and secondary curriculum and career tech director in Decatur City Schools, Jones, 52, came to Hartselle in July 2015 as director of teaching and learning.
In August 2017 she became the first female superintendent for any of the three public school systems in Morgan County and the first internal candidate Hartselle hired since forming a city system in the late 1970s.
“The first two years of Dr. Jones’ leadership have resulted in expanded opportunities for students, a strong leadership team within the district and a solid budget footing,” said Randy Sparkman, who was board president when Jones was hired.
“We appreciate the job she and her team have done,” he added. “I’m optimistic these contract discussions will result in even more opportunity for Hartselle students and families.”
Because of Hartselle’s previous success, Jones said the district has to continue to monitor what it is doing to make sure the needs of all students are being met.
This past year, for example, the system’s grade increased from a 92 to 94, and Barkley Bridge Elementary posted a near-perfect score of 98.
For overall grades, the state uses five indicators: academic achievement, academic growth, graduation rate, college and career readiness, and chronic absenteeism.
Hartselle City received 100 percent of its growth points for reading, math and English testing numbers.
“A lot of this credit goes to Dr. Jones because she’s getting the right people in the right positions and keeping our expectations high,” Maze said.