Dr. Joel Hagood took the oath of office for superintendent of education for the Walker County Schools during a ceremony Thursday in Jasper. Hagood was joined by his wife, Jennifer, and his …
Dr. Joel Hagood took the oath of office for superintendent of education for the Walker County Schools during a ceremony Thursday in Jasper.
Hagood was joined by his wife, Jennifer, and his children, Breck and Annleigh, while Circuit Judge Hoyt Elliott administered the oath of office during a swearing in ceremony held before that afternoon's Walker County Board of Education meeting.
Hagood won the Republican nomination for county school superintendent in June 2018 with 64 percent of the vote. He faced no Democratic or independent opposition during the General Election in November after an independent candidate, Tanya Guin, withdrew before the race.
After Dr. Jason Adkins resigned as superintendent in August of that year, the Walker County Board of Education appointed Hagood as interim superintendent.
As of Thursday, Hagood started serving out his own elected term.
"There's a lot of people in this room that has a lot to do with me standing here today, and I would like to recognize a few of those people," Hagood said.
In an emotional speech before a large crowd in the board's meeting room in the Carl Elliott Building, Hagood thanked his mother and father in attendance, as well as his in-laws, siblings and family.
He also took a moment to recognize many people he says were "instrumental" in his career growth. Hagood credited Larry Banks for giving him his first job, Randy Woods for his recommendation and Ilene Black for providing the opportunity for his first administrative job.
Hagood also gave appreciation to Ray Tidwell for giving him an assistant principal job at Oakman High School, where he later became principal. Ted Craven, a mentor and friend, was also thanked for his support.
Many elected officials in attendance of the swearing in ceremony were recognized as well.
"Thank you all for being here tonight. It means a lot to me," he said.
Hagood reaffirmed his promise to serve honestly and take great care to do what's right for the children of Walker County.
"It's not lost upon me of the responsibility that I have to the taxpayers, students and parents of this county," he said. "I promise you today that I will do that with integrity. That's one thing you can count on — and transparency."
Hagood said he spent five years as a teacher and 18 years as an administrator to pave his way to becoming superintendent of Walker County Schools.