MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) – After a surprise resignation Wednesday from Michael Sentance as superintendent of Alabama Department of Education, the school board named an interim superintendent Thursday during their scheduled meeting.
Dr. Ed Richardson has agreed to take over the interim position. Richardson previously served as Superintendent from 1995 to 2004 and briefly served as interim President of Auburn University.
Richardson agreed to take the position after meeting with Governor Kay Ivey before the meeting Thursday morning. A committee was also established by Gov. Ivey to discuss a contract for Richardson moving forward.
The meeting began with a unanimous vote to accept the resignation of Sentance, who submitted his resignation after a troubling year of controversy with the School Board.
After the resignation, Gov. Ivey made the following statement:
We will use the pending resignation of the state superintendent as an opportunity to move forward and begin a new chapter in public education.
School board members spoke with CBS affiliate WAKA about the resignation calling it a sigh of relief.
“I’m pleased that maybe we can move forward, I’m thinking that there have been barricades that we have not been made aware of that were impacting the progress of the intervention,” says Eleanor Dawkins. Fellow Montgomery school board member, Arica Watkins, explains “we always got the message that they were in charge and we were to take a back seat.”
The school board members were referring to the takeover of Montgomery Public Schools, which was a controversial move by Sentance earlier this year.