County Voters Select Massey as New SuperintendentPublished 9:41am Wednesday, July 16, 2014
By Charles Molineaux | For The Record
HUNTSVILLE – The runoff election for Madison County School Superintendent ended with a victory for Buckhorn High School math teacher Matt Massey.
“I am so proud and humbled and honored as we move forward,” Massey told a crowd of supporters in his Huntsville backyard as the election results quickly revealed Massey taking a lopsided 74 percent to 26 percent lead over Sparkman Middle School principal Ronnie Blair.
Blair, heavily suntanned from weeks of door to door campaigning, watched the results with supporters in a Harvest restaurant and called for a new era of cooperation between Madison County’s school system, its leadership including the school board and superintendent, parents, employees and other stakeholders such as area businesses.
“Collaboration is key,” Blair said. “We’ve got to make everyone into a family.”
Massey’s runoff win came after he finished first in the June 3 primary, barely failing to secure 50 percent of the vote. That election eliminated incumbent Madison County Superintendent David Copeland, who is now scheduled to leave office at the end of the year.
Massey said he hoped to meet soon with Copeland and the school board to work out details of his transition into the superintendent position, and out of his current jobs at Buckhorn and as the county’s lead math teacher. He predicted few issues handling the change directly from teacher to superintendent, without being an administrator.
“It’s not unprecedented. The current superintendent in Jefferson County has never been a principal,” he said. “It was something extraordinary, for it to be such a wide margin and such high participation. The people of Madison County are ready for a change.”
Massey said he hoped to assume an active role in school system policies in coming months, acknowledging the county’s schools face ongoing challenges.
“I had a great time through this election process,” he said. “But now the work starts. Our financial situation, how are we going to pay for the operations costs of a new school? How are we going to get our kids ready for the workforce? These are issues our community cares about.”
Charles Molineaux is an anchor and investigative reporter with WAFF 48 News