Two former principals in Marshall County are among 5 finalists for the Arab school superintendent's job. 

They are Bart Reeves, former principal at Cherokee Elementary School in Guntersville, and David McCollum, the former principal at Brindlee Mountain High School. 

Dr. Terry Jenkins, a search consultant, announced the five candidates at an Arab School Board meeting last week.

“They all had good credentials but from the surveys we received here we felt that having been a teacher and principal was important, but they did not necessarily had to have had experience as a superintendent,” said Jenkins.

Only two of the candidates selected have experience as a superintendent.

“During the interview process, you must decide if this is a candidate that will take an active leadership role in this community,” said Jenkins. “I hope you will interview all five, but you will only need one superintendent. If you are not happy with these five, I’ll bring you some more.”

Jenkins said among the five, there was no ranking of the candidates.

“That’s why I’ll give them to you in alphabetical order,” he said.

The AASB provided almost 100 questions to the local board to ask the candidates during their interviews, but Jenkins suggested that be reduced to about 12 or so.

“Just make sure you ask them all the same questions, whatever they are, and we recommend that you provide them with the questions before the interview so they can give you their best possible answer,” he said.

The actual interviews will be scheduled Nov. 12-15 and Nov. 18. The board will conduct the interviews, tentatively set for 4:30 each day, which will be open for the public to attend.

Concerning the interview process, Dr. Jenkins told the board, “don’t drag your feet.”

But, he also suggested that the board spend plenty of time with each candidate.

“Take your time,” he said, “give each candidate a full day.”

He suggested that board members take the candidates around town and meet teachers, administrators and students in the schools.

“You learn a lot watching people interact,” he said.

He also suggested that a reception time be set up around the interview for candidates to meet citizens within the community.

Here's a little more about the two local finalists:

Dr. David A. McCollum 

The principal of Banks-Caddell Elementary School in Decatur since 2017, McCollum was the principal and athletic director at Brindlee Mountain High School from 2016-17.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and forensic science from Jacksonville State University, McCollum received his master’s in secondary education from the University of Alabama and has a specialist in instructional leadership from the University of West Alabama.

McCollum was a teacher and coach at Escambia County Schools from 2004-05, a teacher and coach at Jasper City Schools from 2005-09, a high school teacher and coach at Marshall County Schools from 2009-11, an instructional assistant principal and graduation coach in the Marshall County district from 2011-13 and principal at Brindlee Mountain Primary School from 2013-16 before becoming the principal at Brindlee Mountain High.

Dr. Bart Reeves

The superintendent of Satsuma City Schools since 2018, Reeves also served as superintendent of Jackson County Schools from 2015-16 and was the principal of Cherokee Elementary School in Guntersville from 2008-15.

Reeves earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a master’s in administration, a specialist in educational leadership and a doctorate in educational leadership, all from the University of Alabama.

Reeves was a history teacher at Guntersville City Schools from 1997-04, the middle school assistant principal at Guntersville from 2004-08, and the assessment and accountability coordinator for Guntersville City Schools from 2013-14 before becoming principal at Cherokee and later, superintendent at Jackson County.

He was the high school principal for Jasper City Schools from 2017-18 before becoming superintendent at Satsuma City Schools.

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