The Muscogee County School Board unanimously approved Todd Stanfill as the next system-wide athletics director Tuesday night.
So he will transfer back across the Chattahoochee River.
He has been assistant principal at Central High School in Phenix City since 2012. Before that, he spent 10 years at Brookstone School, where he was assistant headmaster and athletics director. His previous positions include: headmaster at Tiftarea Academy in Tifton, Ga., 1999-2003; assistant superintendent for human resources, principal, assistant principal and athletics director at Ben Hill County Schools in Fitzgerald, Ga., 1995-99; and physical education teacher and coach at Boston Elementary School in Woodstock, Ga., 1993-95.
Muscogee superintendent David Lewis told the board he wants the district’s athletics program to be taken to “the next level.” He explained why he recommended Stanfill out of the 32 applicants, including six who interviewed.
“He brings very diverse experiences behind him that I think will really benefit our system going forward,” Lewis said.
Stanfill told the board after the vote, “Thank you to Superintendent Lewis and the interview committee for placing your trust in me to lead the Muscogee County athletics department. One of my goals is to make sure you don’t regret that decision. You have a lot of really wonderful principals, athletics directors and coaches in this system. I look forward to working with them.”
After the meeting, Stanfill said he isn’t sure of his starting date, but he expects it to be in early February.
Before he could mention any changes he would make, he said, he must meet with Lewis and student services chief Melvin Blackwell to understand their expectations. Then he wants to build relationships with the school-based ADs and coaches.
“There’s just a wealth of potential in this district,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to it.”
Central principal Tommy Vickers predicts Stanfill will “do a phenomenal job” as Muscogee AD.
“Todd is very detailed-oriented, very, very precise, and I think that’s critical in a position he’s going to,” Vickers said. “His administrative abilities are going to serve him well.”
Vickers said he also has seen Stanfill develop his skills during his 1 1/2 years at Central. The experience has helped him “grow as an administrator and understand how the academics go hand in hand with athletics,” Vickers said.
Stanfill expressed gratitude for his time at Central.
“The people in Phenix City have been great to me,” he said. “It’s a great school system, and I have really appreciated it. It’s going to be tough to leave, but I wish them all the best.”
Then he explained why he was attracted to this opportunity.
“I just love athletics,” he said. “I’ve been involved in it all my life. I’ve done all sorts of things, but it seems like everything I do in the academic world winds up back to being with athletics. I just think it’s a great fit.”
Lewis was looking to fill the vacancy created when Gary Gibson left the district at the end of December to become superintendent in Taylor County. Gibson had been fulfilling Muscogee’s AD duties, as well as being the superintendent’s executive assistant, before his departure. In September, the board approved Lewis hiring former Polk County, Fla., colleague Rebecca Braaten to be the assistant superintendent here. Lewis was an assistant superintendent in Polk before the board hired him for Muscogee’s top spot in July.
Braaten has assumed Gibson’s function as assistant to the superintendent, but Lewis returned the athletics director’s duties to a separate position. Gibson became solely the district’s athletics director in 2007, but then-superintendent Susan Andrews added the executive assistant’s duties to his portfolio in 2011 after Billy Kendall retired.
Stanfill earned a specialist’s degree in education administration from Albany State in 1997, a master’s degree in education administration from West Georgia in 1995 and a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Tennessee-Martin in 1991.