Auburn school superintendent retiring

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - After more than 10 years at the head of Auburn city schools, Superintendent Terry Jenkins is stepping down. Dr. Jenkins has scheduled his retirement for New Years Day.

More than 40 years ago, Dr. Jenkins began his career in education as a Georgia social studies teacher and a coach.  At the age of 31, he became one of the youngest school superintendents in Georgia, eventually winning the award for the state school superintendent of the year. it's an honor he won for a second time in Alabama, after joining auburn city schools on April fools day some 10 years ago.

"He's authentic, he generally cares for children and children from all spectrums and all back grounds and he has the best interest of children," said School board president, Laura Cooper.

Cooper told News Leader 9, Dr. Terry Jenkins upcoming retirement is both bittersweet and a significant challenge as they try and replace a leader many call "irreplaceable."

"We will make this an open process we want the communities input, input from council and we want to make sure we make the very best decision for Auburn city school system," she said.

Jenkins told News Leader nine his successor will have an impeccable resume.

"Parents in this community have very high expectations, they don't hesitate to put pressure on you for what they want provided for their children, but they will provide the recourses to make those things happen," explained Jenkins.

Dr. Jenkins explained because parents are so involved in the school system, the next superintendent has to be an excellent communicator who can work alongside parents, teachers and city leaders to put kids first.

Cooper says that's exactly what Dr. Jenkins has done for the past ten years during his tenure at Auburn.

"Auburn city schools are so much better, than when he first started. I think that's what you want ask yourself when you leave somewhere. Have I left this situation better than when I started and Dr. Jenkins has done that in spades," said Cooper.

Dr. Jenkins is taking an active role in the search. The board will hire a search firm in a few weeks and hope to name a successor by the fall. Dr. Jenkins hopes he will have time to work with the new super, in order to make the transition as soon as possible.