History of SSA

School Superintendents of Alabama has not always been the name of the association of superintendents. In 1925 they met as two groups, an organization of County Superintendents and an organization of City Superintendents. Both groups held their annual meetings at the time of the annual meeting of the Alabama Education Association which was held in March, and both were under the AEA. They had a dinner meeting together but would hold their meetings separate. At that time, the Alabama Education Association held most of its conventions in Birmingham; except records showed they met in Montgomery in 1930, 1933, and 1939. The superintendents would meet in churches, schools and hotels. The facilities were not as good, so most of the years they were held in Birmingham, using the old municipal auditorium. The old Tutwiler Hotel was the gathering place for most members.

In 1933-34, the two superintendent groups merged into one. It was called the Department of Superintendents. It retained this name for four years, and in 1937-38 it became the Alabama Association of School Administrators.

The AASA would usually have its own meeting on Wednesday morning. There would be a program, and the election of officers. The officers would take office at the conclusion of the convention and would hold office until the conclusion of the next convention. The AASA would hold joint meetings with the secondary principals on Wednesday afternoon which was usually held at Phillips High School auditorium. A few years it was held in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church. The superintendents at different times would hold joint meetings with the supervisors, and one or two years would meet with the School Boards Association.

There have been six presidents of the Superintendents groups who later became State Superintendent. The first was Dr. J.A. Keller who was superintendent of Covington County Schools. After serving as state superintendent he was made president of Florence State College, which he served for a number of years. Dr. E.B. Norton was second. He was also superintendent of schools in Covington County when he was President of AASA. After serving as state superintendent he was made president of Florence State College, which he then served for a number of years. Dr. LeRoy Brown was superintendent of Anniston City Schools when he was president of AASA. He was the first appointed State Superintendent of Education. The fourth is Dr. Wayne Teague who was superintendent of Auburn City Schools when he was appointed State Superintendent. He held the office longer than any of the other state superintendents in the country at that time.

The fifth state superintendent who was also a president of AASA was Dr. Ed Richardson. Dr. Richardson was superintendent in Auburn City Schools when he was appointed State Superintendent and he stepped down when asked to serve as Interim President for Auburn University. He then served as President of Auburn for several years prior to retiring. The sixth was Dr. Joe Morton, former superintendent of Sylacauga City Schools and president of AASA. Dr. Morton was the Deputy State Superintendent under Dr. Richardson, then appointed Interim State Superintendent, and now serving in his sixth year as State Superintendent.

It became customary for superintendents to serve as President for two years which began in 1944-45 due to the war and continued until 1969-70. In 1971 AASA worked with the other administrator associations to pull away from AEA and form the Alabama Council of School Administrators (ACSA). Later the name was lengthened to include school supervisors and became the Alabama Council for School Administration and Supervision (ACSAS). Then in 1998, members voted to change the umbrella association's name to the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS).

In 2001 AASA completed a strategic plan and changed its dues structure that resulted in hiring the first full time executive director. Dr. Susan L Lockwood was superintendent of Eufaula City Schools for seven years when she was hired to be Executive Director of AASA on November 14, 2002. Dr. Lockwood began to implement the strategic plan, grow a staff, and provide services to the members. The goals of the strategic plan were to:

  • Increase the influence of AASA with policy makers
  • Communicate sound principles of governance and accurate information
  • Improve the effectiveness of the members of AASA
  • Function as a unifying force for promoting Alabama education

In 2004 the association moved out from the umbrella organization (CLAS) to its own location in The Bailey Building at 400 S Union St, Suite 495, and changed the name of AASA to SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS of Alabama to provide a stronger voice for superintendents in the development of public policy and education budgets.

Since that time SSA has become a leading voice for children in our state; active in legislative work at the State House and involved in development of the k-12 education budget; has implemented an effective Executive Coaching and Training Institute for New Superintendents and to date 104 new superintendents have received assistance through this program; provides effective staff development programs at a summer, fall, and legislative conference; and implemented a business member partnership that provides funding for the SSA lobbying efforts.

Past Presidents

 

Dr. Jacqueline Brooks

2017-2018

Dr. Walter Gonsoulin

2016-2017

Dr. Suzanne Lacey

2015-2016

Dr. Dee Fowler

2014-2015

Mr. John Heard

2013-2014

Dr. Mark Neighbors

2012-2013

Dr. Suzanne Freeman

2011-2012

Mr. Dennis Coe

2011-2012

Dr. Sam Houston

2010-2011

Dr. Eric Mackey

2009-2010

Dr. Ann Roy Moore

2008-2009

Dr. Cindy Elsberry

2007-2008

Dr. Richard Gardner

2006-2007

Dr. Terry Jenkins

2005-2006

Mr. Evan Major

2004-2005

Dr. James Carter

2003-2004

Dr. Charles Mason

2002-2003

Craig Pouncey

2001-2002

Dr. Jodi Newton

2000-2001

Dr. John R. Key

1999-2000

Eli Seaborn

1998-1999

Bruce Wright

1997-1998

Bobby Neighbors

1996-1997

Fred Taylor

1995-1996

Clayton Bryant

1994-1995

Johnny Vaughan

1993-1994

Larry Newton

1992-1993

Lance Grissett

1991-1992

John Brown

1990-1991

David Brantley

1989-1990

Carlton Smith

1988-1989

Dan Parker

1987-1988

Ed Richardson

1986-1987

Maurice Persall

1985-1986

Frank Earnest, Jr.

1984-1985

Gene Watson

1983-1984

Tom Ingram

1982-1983

Wilmer S. Cody

1981-1982

Joe Morton

1980-1981

Lance Grissett

1979-1980

Jimmy Baker

1978-1979

Byron Nelson

1977-1978

Hugh Stegall

1976-1977

Curtis Sellars

1975-1976

Wayne Teague

1974-1975

Oscar Zeanah

1973-1974

Art Dennis

1972-1973

Charles Sprayberry

1971-1972

George Layton

1969-1971

William Eddins

1967-1969

Raymond Christian

1965-67

N. O. Nunnelly

1963-1964

C. F. Newell

1961-1963

Leroy Brown

1959-1961

V.C. Helms

1957-1959

I. J. Browder

1955-1957

Hugh Taylor

1953-1955

Kermit Johnson

1951-1953

Taylor Kirby

1949-1951

R. J. Lawrence

1947-1949

K. C. Clark

1946-1947

L. G. Walker

1944-1946

C. L. Martin

1943-1944

R. E. Moore

1942-1943

W. W. Hill

1941-1942

J. C. Orr

1939-1940

E. B. Norton

1938-1939

B. L. Balch

1937-1938

J. C. Dixon

1936-1937

E. A. McBride

1935-1936

C. L. Martin

1934-1935

H. G. Dowling

1933-1934

John E. Bryan
P. H. Southerland

1932-1933

C. B. Glenn
S. B. Gibson

1931-1932

J. W. Watson
C. W. Johnson

1930-1931

Paul M. Munro
H. G. Dowling

1929-1930

W. G. Griggs
H. G. Dowling

1928-1929

W. W. Benson
J. A. Keller

1927-1928

F. T. Appleby
W. F. Fleming

1926-1927

C. C. Moseley
T. W. Smith

1925-1926