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Superintendent Akin leaving Huntsville City Schools

Akin said he plans to leave Huntsville and take a job in Gulf Shores.

Posted: Apr. 19, 2018 4:52 PM
Updated: Apr. 20, 2018 10:08 AM

Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Matt Akin is leaving Huntsville after just over a year in the district.

Akin told WAAY 31 Thursday afternoon that he intends to take a job as superintendent for Gulf Shores City Schools.

The details of his employment with the district are still being discussed, he said, but he plans to leave once negotiations are done.

Akin signed a 3-year contract in March 2017 to take over for former superintendent Casey Wardynski. He said he originally intended to fulfill that contract, and that there have been no issues in the district that have influenced his decision to move on. 

The Gulf Shores school district is a new school system that's branching off from Baldwin County Schools. Akin said he understands parents will be upset, but he couldn't pass up the opportunity to start a new school district from scratch.

"Superintendent jobs, especially in Alabama, its pretty common -- they go out in email bursts all the time," he said. "You go through your email and glance through it. Its just like reading the news, but just what caught my eye was to see they were looking for someone innovative, but starting from the ground level."

Akin was one of 27 applicants for the Gulf Shores job, but he was the only one the board chose to interview.

A Huntsville City Schools spokesman said the district has 180 days after Akin's departure to find a new superintendent, and there will be an interim superintendent appointed until they find a replacement.

Akin's last day on the job hasn't been determined because he's still negotiating his contract with Gulf Shores.

One parent in the district told WAAY 31 he's upset Akin for leaving after one year into a three-year contract.

"I begrudge him, yeah, a little bit for shorting us on that contract," said Tim Tatum.

Tatum still supports Akin for following his heart.

"There's opportunities for everyone that you never see coming and sometimes they're really great opportunities that are just going to speak to who you are," said Tatum.

Huntsville City Schools Board of Education Members said they have a lot of work to do before Akin departs.

"I believe that he's going to stay long enough for us to get a lot of business done and that is going to be a challenge for the board. We're going to have a lot of time in meeting in order to make sure we have fully staffed all our schools and taking care of all the teacher raises and everything we need to take care of before he goes," said Board President Elisa Ferrell.

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