By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – Jackie Ford will serve as the interim superintendent of the New Albany School District while it searches for a full-time leader.
Ford was approved Monday night by the district’s school board to serve for up to a year while it conducts its search. He replaces Charles Garrett, who retired from his job with the district to take a leadership position with the Wellspring Center for Professional Futures.
Ford has been New Albany’s assistant superintendent for the past seven years.
“The reason we chose him is because he has been in our system so long, and he knows all of the inner workings and all of the personnel,” said New Albany School Board President Jerry Tate.
Tate said the district will make its first call to the Mississippi School Board Association about the possibility of conducting its search. He said the board gave Ford the option to apply for the superintendent job, and Ford said he intends to do so.
“It may work out where Jackie is the number one candidate, but the community expects us to pick the best person for the job,” Tate said.
“We will explore all of our options.” Ford, 61, has been an educator for 39 years. He spent 19 years as a classroom teacher at Pine Grove High School in Tippah County before working 13 years as vocational/career and technical director in New Albany and then moving into his current position.
“Mr. Ford has done an outstanding job in assisting me,” Garrett said. “He is a very detail-oriented man. He really gets things done correctly. He works hard. I think the board made a very wise choice for the position.”
Ford said there will not be any significant changes this year.
“Our goal in the New Albany district is to be number one in anything we do, and we want to do it with class and a lot of pride,” Ford said. “I just want to build off of the things that we have built in the district over the years. I give a lot of credit to Dr. Garrett for laying a great foundation to build on.”