Superintendent Key honored

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 17, 2000

as state’s top educator in 2000


Staff Writer

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Nov. 16, 2000 10 PM

Alabama’s Superintendent of the Year calls Pike County home.

Dr. John Key, superintendent of the Pike County School System, was recently chosen to represent the Alabama Association of School Administrators.

The recognition is sponsored by ServiceMaster and the American Association of School Administrators. Key was nominated for the honor by his fellow superintendents in this area among which he has served the longest term.

Selection of the state representative was made by a panel who questioned the nominees on such things as how to provide technology for schools, Key said.

Key, who is humble about the award, jokingly said, "If you hang around long enough, they’ll give you anything."

He may make jokes about being Superintendent of the Year, but he’s honored by the recognition.

"It makes you feel good when you are selected by such a group of people," Key said, adding he appreciates being selected.

"It makes you humble when you reflect on what kind of accomplishments have been made in the school system and realize others are doing as much," Key said.

Having served as Pike County’s superintendent since 1979, Key worked his way up the ranks, including being assistant principal and principal at Banks Junior High and principal at Springhill Junior High School.

Key’s leadership as superintendent of the progressive, small rural school system in Pike County, has been that of aggressively and successfully seeking additional funding sources and resources for students in order to provide them with the necessary technological tools for current educational goals and objectives.

He said the school system has gone from having a few computers in each school to at least one computer with Internet access in every classroom.

But, he’s quick to point out he can’t take the credit for the school system’s progress during his tenure.

"Everybody up here works hard," he said of personnel in the central office and each of the schools.

Now, it’s on to the next level and the competition for the National Superintendent of the Year title. A national panel will select four finalists who will be interviewed in Washington and the winner will be announced at the national conference.

He may be competing for a national title, but he thinks his chances are up in the air because of the "stiff competition" he’ll have on the national level.

"There are some extremely sharp and motivated people (across the nation)," Key said of the superintendents he will go up against.

Key will be recognized as the Alabama Superintendent of the Year at the Superintendents’ Winter Conference that begins Feb. 6 in Montgomery and the AASA National Conference in Orlando, Fla. in mid-February.

Key earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Troy State University and his doctorate from the University of Alabama.

The life-long Pike County resident and his wife, Ann, have two children, Jann LaVorgna and John Curry Key.