School Superintendent Susan Andrews is recommending Britt David Magnet Academy Principal Ronie Collins for the position of chief academic officer for the Muscogee County School District.
The nomination will be discussed today at a school board work session at 5 p.m. in the Muscogee County Public Education Center on Macon Road.
Collins would replace Peggy Connell, who left at the end of January to take a position at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. Connell was making $119,908 at the time.
The chief academic officer oversees all curriculum and supervises the director of elementary education, the director of secondary education, the director of Title 1, the director of professional learning and the director of career, technical and agricultural education.
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Connell had prior experience as a superintendent in two other school districts before taking the position.
One board member, Mark Cantrell, admitted Sunday he was a little surprised that Andrews’ selection for the position was an elementary school principal instead of someone higher up in the system but said he plans to vote for approval next week.
“I’m going to support Dr. Andrews on this,” Cantrell said. “This is the person she feels she will work best with, and there is no doubt the person nominated is qualified and has had great success at Britt David. I know Britt David is a magnet, but it still takes a great leader to get the kind of results the principal has had there. Teachers and principals I have spoken with are excited about the choice.”
He said he was glad to see Andrews stay within the school district rather than going elsewhere to fill the position.
Board member John Wells said that as an individual Collins is “first class” and that she has done a good job at Britt David, which he called “one of the top schools in the nation.”
But he said the school district needs someone well qualified for the position of chief academic officer, and he is still doing research on Collins to determine if she is the best choice. He is eager to hear discussion.
Andrews could not be reached for comment.
Collins has been employed with the school district since Aug. 21, 1989.
She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Columbus State University and has been principal at Britt David since 2001. A member of the Columbus State University Education Hall of Fame, Collins came to Britt David after serving as principal at Johnson Elementary. She is a former teacher at Britt David and was the J.D. Davis Elementary teacher of the year in 1984. She has served as an assistant principal at both Britt David and St. Mary’s Road Elementary.
During her time at Britt David, the school has won numerous state awards.
Director of transportation
Tonight, the board will also discuss the nomination of Frank J. Brown as director of transportation.
Brown is a former athletic director in Harris County. As assistant director of transportation his duties included overseeing the bus maintenance program, helping develop the department budget and reviewing routes to ensure student safety.
At the time of his appointment as interim, Brown said he wanted the job and that he would do a good job.
If approved by the board, Brown, who was hired in 2006 as assistant director of transportation and has served as interim director since August 16, 2011, would replace Russell Curry.