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Dr. Brian Clayton

James Clemens principal named finalist in Hartselle superintendent search

Sparkman High School’s principal is also a finalist

HARTSELLE — James Clemens High School head principal Dr. Brian Clayton was named a finalist for Hartselle’s school superintendent position. He will be interviewed by the Hartselle school board this week.

Hartselle is trying to replace Dee Dee Jones, who retired as superintendent effective Sept. 1.

Clayton has been the principal of James Clemens since 2012 and is the former principal at Liberty Middle in Madison. He served as the principal at Rock Quarry Middle in Tuscaloosa from 2008-11. Clayton has also served as principal of Tuscaloosa Middle School and Thomasville and Hale County high schools.

In 2020, Clayton was a finalist to replace retired Madison City Schools superintendent Robby Parker. The school board ended up offering the position to Dr. Ed Nichols.

Six finalists were announced Friday by school board attorney Woody Sanderson. He said they were selected from about 18 individuals who applied for the job between Sept. 1 and Oct. 10.

In addition to Dr. Clayton, Sparkman High Schgool principal Chris Shaw is also a finalist. He is in his eighth year as principal at Sparkman High and 17th year as a high school principal. He spent most of his teaching career at Fairhope High School. He has also been an administrator for Cobb County (Georgia) schools and served as principal at Lassiter High in Marietta, Georgia.

Other finalists include former Hartselle system staff member and current Arab City Schools Superintendent Johnny Berry, Florence Middle School Principal Kevin Wieseman, Hartselle Director of Operations Rocky Smith, and Hartselle High Principal Brad Cooper.

School board member Randy Sparkman said last month they have until March 1 to hire a superintendent but, ideally, would like the new superintendent to start Jan. 1 in time for the new semester.

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