SYLACAUGA, Ala. — Sylacauga City Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Freeman is one of four finalists for the same leadership position in Vestavia Hills.

Freeman was one of 32 applicants, 14 of whom are in Alabama. He confirmed the news with SylacaugaNews.com but declined further comment.

The finalists were announced to the Vestavia Hills Board of Education in a Dec. 13 meeting, and Freeman’s formal interview has been scheduled for Jan. 5.

“Selfishly, I would hate to see him go,” Dr. Steve Marlowe, president of the Sylacauga Board of Education, told SylacaugaNews.com. Noting that he was speaking from the perspective of being a parent and also a board member but not on behalf of the school system, he added that he “cannot blame Vestavia Hills for wanting such a qualified candidate.“

Marlowe praised Freeman as a great leader who has “created a lot of lift”, very engaged in the community, and with a reputation for excellence.

In addition to Freeman, others being considered are Dr. Patrick Martin, Superintendent of Gardendale City Schools; Dr. Ronnie Dotson, Superintendent of Carter County Schools (Kentucky); and Dr. Shaun Whiteman, Superintendent of Marysville Community Schools (Michigan).

Now in his fifth year with Sylacauga’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. He earned his Doctor of Education degree from Valdosta State University in 2008.

If selected, Freeman would replace Interim Superintendent Dr. Charles Mason who has held the position since August.

Managing district-wide growth, the Vestavia Hills board has approved a restructuring plan to be effective with the 2019-2020 school year pending federal court approval. The system currently serve 7,083 students with 928 faculty and staff in one high school, two middle schools, and five elementary schools.

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