SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WALA) – A day after the Baldwin County School Board announced the interim superintendent, there is much work to be done to make that transition happen. Robbie Owen, principal of Rockwell Elementary in Spanish Fort will be taking over, but this comes less than a week before the start of school.
Teachers and staff at Rockwell Elementary spent Tuesday, August 12, 2014 decking the halls and making other preparations for the start of school Monday. Principal Robbie Owen was also busy making sure everything is ready for the arrival of students, but as the new interim superintendent his focus has already started to shift to the job ahead.
“Focus right now is to keep things going strong and not moving backward…moving forward so that when we are ready for someone new to step in, they walk into a great situation,” Owen said.
Owen added he’ll be at Rockwell for the opening of school on Monday, August 18 to make sure the school year gets off to a great start. School officials said that Owen’s vacated principal position will be advertised within the system to notify any interested principals. That person will have to be named soon and Owen said he’ll play a role in making that decision.
“We want someone who can help this school maintain what it’s doing just like our school system,” Owen said. “We do a lot with several programs and we want those things to stay in place.”
Resigning superintendent, Dr. Alan Lee is staying on in a consulting role for now. The School Board will be hiring a consulting firm to conduct a nationwide search for his permanent replacement. With Owen being moved into the role for now and a new principal on the way at Rockwell, school officials said it will cost the system, but how much is not yet known.
“Additional dollars will most likely be spent. They will certainly be spent in a superintendent search,” said Baldwin County Board of Education spokesperson, Terry Wilhite.
“There’s no way around that and the Board will act very judiciously and wisely in making all those decisions.”
While Owen said he’s happy to take on the challenges ahead, he points out that it won’t be permanent. He fully intends to be back working with the teachers, parents and children at Rockwell Elementary next school year.
“That’s what I have grown up as an educator doing. It’s 31 years for me I’m starting and 25 of those have been as an administrator,” Owen said.
By law, the School Board has six months to fill the vacated position. Owen pointed out that Dr. Lee has extended his help and guidance to him as he settles in and he doesn’t intend to make any drastic changes. One thing he does want to do is to focus and improve on instruction in the classroom.