One of Columbia County's school leaders soon will run a school system in his native Alabama.
Mike Lindsey, the director of middle school and gifted learning, recently announced his intention to resign at the end of this month to become superintendent of the Boaz City School System in northeast Alabama.
"Going back to a small-town school system is something I'd like to do before I retire," Lindsey said of his reasons for leaving Columbia County after 11 years in the central office.
Lindsey will take over Sept. 1 at the Boaz system, which he said reminded him of a miniature version of Columbia County. "They're a very progressive school system," he said. "Their test scores are very good. They have an excellent reputation in Alabama."
Of the five schools in that system, Lindsey said two are ranked in the top 11 in the state.
Lindsey taught for 25 years in Alabama before retiring and taking a job in Columbia County. He started his career as a teacher and basketball coach and worked his way up to assistant superintendent.
Though he liked his position in Alabama, Lindsey said he needed a change and was attracted to the relative simplicity of his current post.
"I had been doing buses and facilities and discipline and maintenance and sports," he said of his role as an assistant superintendent. "I couldn't imagine a job (like his current one) where I was just doing instruction. I said, 'I'm your man.'
"That was 11 years ago, and I've been as happy as a lark."
While here, Lindsey was integral in using technology that allowed middle-school teachers to mine data from test scores using a file-share system; implementing the Georgia Performance Standards curriculum; and establishing benchmark testing in middle schools, Superintendent Charles Nagle wrote in an e-mail.
"We certainly are disappointed to lose someone of Mr. Lindsey's stature, but are very proud of this opportunity for him and his family," Nagle said.
For Lindsey, the lure of improving his financial stability in a small school system before he retires was too good to pass up.
"Being a superintendent was not my goal," Lindsey said of his career. "I think being happy and making a difference is my goal. I think I can do that in Boaz."
Nagle said he hopes to recommend a successor to Lindsey to the school board within a month.
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