Port St. Joe - Gulf County School Superintendent Tim Wilder will be the new superintendent of schools for the Dothan school system. The Dothan City School Board members voted at their school board meeting Tuesday night to hire Wilder for the position. They selected him after a consulting firm came up with a field of 33 candidates from a nationwide search.
Tim Wilder literally grew up in the Gulf County School System. His father was superintendent of schools for years before he won the job in 2004. So leaving the system will be tough. "I've thought alot about that during this process, about what I'd be leaving. We've got a great school board, a great system, two great communities with Wewahitchka and Port St. Joe. These communities have rallied behind education for so long."
He credits his staff, teachers, parents, and students with the school district's successes. Twice in the past four years, Gulf County has had the highest graduation rate in Florida. And last week the district was once again named one of the best in the state. But budget cuts have been a challenge. And Wilder doesn't expect anything different when he heads to Dothan. "I have not found any system in the nation that is immune to these cuts. Alabama is facing a similar set of issues, the system may need to cut jobs as I understand.
In fact, Wilder believes that may have played a role in his hiring. "He knows his job, knows his kids, knows what the school system is in need of," said Edward Fleming, the Dothan High School Assistant Principal.
Although Wilder says he's sad about leaving Gulf County, he's excited about the new opportunity. "It's mixed emotions, one minute I'm excited about the new opportunity, but at the same time as you said, I was born and raised here."
Wilder starts his new job on July 1st. The salary range is $135,000-$155,000 a year.
Governor Rick Scott will appoint a replacement for Wilder to serve the remainder of his term.