Phenix City Schools superintendent resigns

Randy Wilkes taking job as Orange Beach City Schools Superintendent

Last week, Phenix City Schools Superintendent Randy Wilkes announced his resignation. The Phenix City Schools Board of Education held a special called meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET to hold a vote on Wilkes’s resignation. It passed unanimously.

“Mr. Wilkes helped lead our system into a season of great success and achievement,” said Yolaunda Daniel, PCS Board Chair. “Our community is truly grateful for the Wilkes family and their time with us in public education and beyond. We thank him for his visionary leadership and his high standards of professionalism, moral character, and work ethic. We are proud of the progress the district has made during his tenure and (are) appreciative of his commitment and dedication to our school system. We wish Mr. Wilkes, and his wife, Cathy, the best of luck in their next chapter of leadership, education, and community service.”

The board released a statement on June 8 saying the board and Wilkes reached a mutual agreement: “This mutual agreement allows Mr. Wilkes to pursue other interests while also permitting the board the opportunity to begin the process to identify a new superintendent. Wilkes has served Phenix City Schools for the last eight years, and the school system has experienced tremendous growth in student achievement, professional staff development, improved district facilities, and community involvement under his leadership.”

Wilkes is taking a job as the first Superintendent of Orange Beach City Schools, helping to establish a school system.

“It has been an honor and privilege to have served Phenix City,” Wilkes said in a press release. “This system’s potential is great. Phenix City has phenomenal people. I will no doubt miss each.”

A second statement from the board said: “Wilkes served as the Phenix City Schools superintendent for eight years. During his tenure, the school system’s graduation rate improved significantly.…”

When Wilkes took over as superintendent in 2014, the high school graduation rate was at 81 percent. Today, the graduation rate is listed as being in Alabama’s top five percent at 97 percent.

“…the month reserved increased from $3.5 million to over $22 million, the system received its first-ever 'A' on the State’s report card, every school achieved STEM certification and Purple Star status, the system engaged in more than 15 capital projects, and a seamless STEM culture was created in grades K-12. Wilkes was named Alabama’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year.”

As for the search for a new superintendent, the board said, “PCBOE is committed to continuing the standards of success that have now become the cornerstone of its identity as a school system. The board will actively engage in identifying and pursuing qualified candidates to lead the school system to the next levels of success. PCS thanks Mr. Wilkes and the community for their support during this important transition. We look forward to the next steps of our search and exciting new opportunities for our system.”

Staff Writer

Toni Shah is an award-winning local news reporter. She covers city and county government meetings, but also enjoys writing profile pieces. She has been with The Citizen since 2018.