The city of Gulf Shores has hired its first school superintendent as part of the process of establishing an independent school district.
Former Pike Road schools superintendent Suzanne Freeman was hired as the interim superintendent for 180 days while officials search for a permanent replacement. Gulf Shores city school board president Kevin Corcoran says the hire was made to “remove a legal argument on whether a superintendent needs to be in place to move ahead with negotiations”.
Baldwin County School System Superintendent Eddie Tyler released a statement saying “we are pleased that Gulf Shores has agreed with our position, and Alabama law, which requires they have a superintendent to form a school system.” Tyler had said there would be "no negotiations" on his part unless Gulf Shores had a superintendent in place.
Gulf Shores and Baldwin County officials are scheduled to meet again for negotiations surrounding the split on Thursday. Talks will likely focus on a timetable. Gulf Shores officials want the city school system in place to welcome students this fall, but Baldwin County officials believe 2019 is more realistic.
Another issue is where to send approximately 600 children who currently attend Gulf Shores schools, but live outside what would become the Gulf Shores City School District.