Dr. Tony Dowdy is the principal at Pell City High School and has served in the Pell City School System for the last 25 years. He worked as a teacher for 10 years and as an administrator for 15. Dowdy started off his interview by saying, “Thank you. I’m grateful for this opportunity.”
Dowdy said the first month for the new superintendent is crucial and he’d start by getting out to meet administrators and students. “Safety and security are my foremost priority. I also want to make sure class sizes are adequate and formulate communication plans between the superintendent and board of education.” Dowdy would also put in place accountability goals and as he put it, “reach across the mountain, so to speak,” to speak with St. Clair County Schools superintendent Mike Howard. Identifying himself as a servant leader, Dowdy says the superintendent is the school system’s biggest cheerleader and defender. Adding, honesty and transparency is critical.
Setting goals, guidelines and expectations, Dowdy would strive to help every student reach their dreams and desires. When asked about the role of extracurricular activities in the school system he responded, “They’re healthy for a school system and provide opportunities for students to be a team, to shine and be good at something.” Adding, “Students can learn success from losses. Extracurricular activities are vitally important for the development of our students.” Dowdy said he’ll further investigate other opportunities and relationships can the PCSS partner with to create internships/apprenticeships that generate real world, hands-on experiences. “I’d like to work with businesses to create a culinary area like at Moody High School,” Dowdy stated. “We have a great program in Ready to Work. It’s in conjunction with the Economic Development Council, where the EDC gets students in front of employers.”
If chose as PCSS superintendent Dowdy will generate a positive atmosphere with an open door policy and open communication. “It’s about communication,” Dowdy said. “I don’t always have the answers, but I will call an expert on the subject.” As current Pell City High School (PCHS) principal Dowdy and the PCHS staff strive to “enroll, enlist and employ.” This goal led him to tell the BOE, “Pell City students can compete with any students across the globe, become anything they want to be and go where they want to go.”
Addressing why he is the right person for this position, Dowdy said, “I’m honored to live and work in Pell City for the past 25 years. Being from Pell City means everything to me. I want to be the leader who helps the next generation. There’s no pause or learning curve if I’m chosen. I’ll work collectively for the best interest of our school system and the safety of our students.”