New Orange Beach School Superintendent ready to get to work

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) - A day after he was unanimously voted in as Orange Beach School System’s first superintendent -- the community had a chance to meet Randy Wilkes.

The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach hosted the meet and greet Wednesday night -- where Wilkes said he’s ready to get to work. He tells FOX 10 News he has great goals and even higher expectations.

“Work and ethic. We are going to outwork everybody in the area. And our desire is to not just be academically the best in the state -- we want to be the best in the nation. And we believe that is very possible here in Orange Beach,” said Wilkes.

Orange Beach School Board President Robert Stuart says starting a new city school system is usually a two year process -- but Orange Beach is doing it in six months.

“We have a lot to do, which we’ve had a lot of big boxes to check -- but none bigger than naming our superintendent. He is the man for the job,” said Stuart.

“The board did a wonderful job they did the due diligence necessary to come up with someone we think is going to lead us to great places. We are going to be greater than great,” said Mayor Tony Kennon, Orange Beach.

With over 1,100 students -- they’ll have 60 to 70 teachers -- most they’ve retained -- but say they expect to fill the rest of the staff vacancies by the end of this month.

“The mission is always of course #1 is safety. We will always address that -- that is always a top priority. But just to have students reach their highest potential is the mission,” said Tracie Stark, Orange Beach School Board Secretary.

Meanwhile, in light of the mass shooting in Uvalde -- Superintendent Wilkes says they’re already addressing safety. “Before I came on board -- Interim Superintendent Robbie Smith had already been talking with security companies about entering the schools. So kudos to them! We are going to start looking at the safety plans for the district in the next couple of days. We are going to hone in on that. I’m sure we will have a meeting of first responders in the very near future. And i feel like we will have some parent meetings just to make sure any concerns of parents might have -- that we ease that before we enter the school doors -- in a very short time,” explained Wilkes.

The City of Orange Beach is set to write a big check to the Baldwin County School Board to the tune of 38-to-40 million dollars to acquire the school buildings and other property. They tell us that is on track to happen on or before July 1st.


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