Montgomery Public School Board Elects Margaret Allen As New Superintendent

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By Catalina Trivino

There's a new leader for Montgomery Public Schools -- Margaret Allen.

It didn't take long for the board members to make the decision, in fact it was all over with in less than 10 minutes. Margaret Allen had been Interim Superintendent and now she has the job permanently.

Seven hands raised means a unanimous decision -- it was a motion that led to a different future with a different leader at Montgomery Public Schools.

Interim Superintendent, Margaret Allen, signed her contract as the school system's new superintendent effective immediately.

And while it's a celebratory moment now, she says she has a lot of work ahead of her.

"What we are already doing are, of course, the audits and having to do the plans that are associated with them. We're going to try to manage getting those done through this tenure," Said Allen.

She's talking about the grade changing scandal discovered in 2012 along with the state audits of the schools while Barbara Thompson served as superintendent.

In October 2013, Thompson and the school system reached a mutual separation agreement. That's when Allen stepped in and school system officials say Allen was the only official candidate for the position.

"We don't think, at this point, that it would be the best situation for a new superintendent to come in and face all of the problems and all of the challenges that we have. Consequently, we appreciate Mrs. Allen's willingness," Said Montgomery Public Schools Board of Education President, Eleanor Dawkins.

It's willingness that has Allen already drafting a new strategic plan for the school system so that it can continue to improve.

"We're hoping to be able to incorporate the 30-60-90-day plans that we are having to do. We're hoping to incorporate strategies from that into that strategic plan," Said Allen.

Allen has held several positions during her last 37 years here with Montgomery Public Schools, including a teacher, principal and central office administrator. Most recently she was in charge with professional development.

Allen's term ends June of 2016.

Montgomery Public School officials say only one other person applied for the position, but that person withdrew last week.