Middle and high school principals will remain in Gulf Shores
Baldwin Co. offered same positions in O.B. to Veazy, McCartney
By John Mullen
There was an audible gasp from teachers and other Gulf Shores school staff when they heard who the new principals would be in Orange Beach’s new school.
During the Gulf Shores Board of Education meeting to vote for and sign the separation agreement with the Baldwin County Board of Education word came from Bay Minette. Gulf Shores High School Principal Chris Veazy and Gulf Shores Middle School Principal Kyle McCartney would be transferred to Orange Beach.
But not so fast.
On Jan. 28, Gulf Shores Superintendent Matt Akin in a specially called meeting recommended that his board also hire Veazey and McCartney for the same positions in the new city system.
Gulf Shores School Board President Kevin Corcoran said the pair will be officially hired at the next board meeting, and Akin confirmed that the terms of their contracts would be approved at that meeting.
Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler said both principals were aware that he was recommending them for these two positions, adding that 42 candidates applied for the middle school job and 39 for the high school job in Orange Beach.
“The newly appointed principals, as of Feb. 1, will be tasked with planning and developing the school from the ground up,” Tyler said. “That includes but is not limited to recommending personnel for hire, designing the master schedule, planning extracurricular and athletic activities and events, designing print materials for students, staff and parents, planning and scheduling parent meetings and student orientation, preparing for professional development of staff, and building community partnerships.”
The new Orange Beach school won’t be finished until the fall of 2020 but the county plans on opening portable village across the street from Orange Beach Elementary School to house seventh through 10th graders. Also, any students outside of Gulf Shores city limits in grades K through nine will attend school in Orange Beach.
All students who will be 11th and 12th graders in the fall living outside the city limits will be allowed to attend Gulf Shores until graduation. Students in the 10th grade starting this fall have a choice to attend in either Orange Beach or stay at Gulf Shores. Their parents must notify the state superintendent’s office by Feb. 1 which option their 10th-grade students will choose.
Gulf Shores Superintendent Matt Akin said he has received more than 30 applications for the three principal openings at newly formed Gulf Shores schools. He could not reveal the names.
“If you’re interested in working for Gulf Shores City Schools you can send me your information in an email today,” Akin told the educators in the meeting. In addition to the three principal positions, Gulf Shores is taking applications for a schools financial officer.
While Gulf Shores voted for and signed the separation agreement, the Baldwin County Board of Education instead passed a resolution authorizing Tyler to file a lawsuit over part of the separation agreement that gives Gulf Shores $7 million for the months of June through September of this year. Gulf Shores becomes an independent system on June 1.
“Our disagreement is over money, which belongs to the Baldwin County taxpayers and not Gulf Shores,” Tyler said.
Akin said the disagreement is between the state and Baldwin County.
“At this point, I think the dispute is between Baldwin County and the state superintendent, so I think the state superintendent will determine how that works out,” Akin said.
Pictured: Cindy Veazey and Kyle McCartney; A sign at GSHS thanking Princical Cindy Veazey for her committment to students at the high school.