SYLACAUGA, Ala. — In a Wednesday evening meeting, the Vestavia Hills Board of Education voted to hire current Sylacauga City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Freeman as the system’s new superintendent, the seventh in its history.

The Board last discussed the selection process in a called meeting on Jan. 16, when the search was narrowed to two finalists – Freeman and Dr. Patrick Martin, Superintendent of Gardendale City Schools.

Freeman told SylacaugaNews.com he will now begin work on a transition plan that’s the best for both school systems.

“Our lives have been forever impacted in a positive way because of our time in Sylacauga,” Freeman said. “We have grown as a family and as professionals, and I have learned from so many very smart, kind people here who have made me a better person.”

Freeman was chosen from a field of 32 applicants following a process that began in October. The selection process included public interviews with the Board of Education, site visits to each candidate’s current and former schools, reference and background checks, and written feedback from teachers, students and administrators who met with the candidates. Representatives visited Sylacauga on Jan. 25.

Following the unanimous vote, Vestavia Hills Board of Education President Nancy Corona emailed the following statement to parents and employees:

It was important to the Board members and me that we carry out this lengthy and detailed process because we know just how important this position is to the success of our schools and city. Ultimately, we selected Dr. Freeman because we believe he possesses a combination of professional skills and personal character that we need from the leader of this school system.”

Vestavia Hills schools serve 7,083 students, about three times that of Sylacauga, with 928 faculty and staff in one high school, two middle schools, and five elementary schools. Freeman will replace Interim Superintendent Dr. Charles Mason who has held the position since last August.

Now in his fifth year with the Marble City’s schools, Freeman taught social studies at Auburn High School from 1993-2003, served as Executive Director for School Operations and Services with Auburn City Schools from 2003-2010, and was Auburn High School’s Principal from 2010-2013.

“I am grateful that Sylacauga gave me this opportunity four and a half years ago,” Freeman added. “It is a wonderful community, and we have been blessed.”

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