By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Dr. Eric Mackey was selected Friday as Alabama’s next State Superintendent of Education.
Mackey currently works as Executive Director of the School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA), an organization advocating on behalf of local school leaders to the Legislature and Congress.
The Alabama State School Board chose Mackey by a 5-4 vote over perceived favorite Jefferson County Superintendent Craig Pouncey. Other finalists for the job included Hoover City Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy and former Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott.
The School Board vote was:
Ella Bell: Pouncey
Stephanie Bell: Pouncey
Yvette Richardson: Pouncey
Cynthia McCarty: Mackey
Jackie Ziegler: Pouncey
Mary Scott Hunter: Mackey
Jeff Newman: Mackey
Betty Peters: Mackey
Gov. Kay Ivey: Mackey
Ivey, who serves as President of the State School Board by virtue of her office, said Mackey’s vision for Alabama schools aligns with hers.
“During the interview, I was impressed by Dr. Mackey’s embrace of my vision to ensure that our children have a strong start to their educational journey so that they have a strong finish when they enter the workforce. That is the kind of forward thinking we need at the helm of the State Board of Education,” she said.
“I look forward to working with Dr. Mackey in the days ahead as we put the focus where it should be – on effectively educating every child in Alabama.”
Before leading SSA, Mackey was a principal in the Jacksonville City School System and later became its superintendent. He first began working as a science teacher at Saks Elementary School in 1993.
After the initial vote with Mackey edging Pouncey, the Board voted 8-1 to affirm the decision. Dissenting was Board member Ella Bell, who argued that Hunter should have recused herself because she is currently being sued by Pouncey for claims she torpedoed Pouncey’s chances the last time around.
Mackey will assume office on May 14. He replaces former Superintendent Michael Sentance who resigned in September after receiving a poor performance review one year into the job.