Surrounded by family and about 200 supporters, Chresal D. Threadgill was sworn in Monday as Mobile County Public Schools’ 18th superintendent.
“I stand here before you, strong, firm, humbled and honored to be the superintendent of Mobile County Public Schools,” said Threadgill, who thanked the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners and former superintendent Martha Peek for having the confidence in him to lead MCPSS to even greater heights.
Local attorney and former U.S. attorney Kenyen Brown administered the Oath of Office, during which Threadgill promised to faithfully and honestly discharge the duties of superintendent.
He referred to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech as inspiration in his new role.
“Beginning this role as superintendent, I, too, have a dream,” Threadgill said.
“I have a dream that I will continue having the courage to take on all obstacles and to prove all doubters wrong.
“I have a dream that I will follow my heart with passion and determination to do what’s right for all students.
“I have a dream that we can and we will accomplish the unimaginable.
“I also have a dream that I will be the best superintendent I can possibly be for all the students of Mobile County Public Schools,” he added. “Let the journey begin.”
Threadgill, a graduate of LeFlore High School, Troy University and Alabama State University, had been Mobile County Public Schools’ chief of staff since September.
Before that, he spent two decades working his way up from classroom teacher to principal to assistant superintendent of Troy City Schools; and superintendent of Elba City Schools.
In Elba, Threadgill increased the graduation rate from 63 percent to 96 percent and brought stability to a school system that had suffered financial difficulties and leadership turnover.
Board member Don Stringfellow said during Monday’s ceremony that he and other board members heard great things of Threadgill as they were vetting candidates for the superintendent job. He then told the audience about an encounter he had with Threadgill’s successor at Elba, who was asked recently to speak about improvements in that district at a state conference.
“He said, ‘I had nothing to do with it; Mr. Threadgill, our former superintendent, did this,’” Stringfellow told the audience. “That vindicated for me that he is more than just the good things that people are saying about him. He is a man of action.”
Board member Robert Battles noted that while Threadgill is the first African-American superintendent of Mobile County, it will be his performance that matters most.
“What is most important is what record you leave so that someone can see that and they can emulate that,” Battles said, adding that “I promise you that I will support you, along with our board.”
Battles received a round of applause when he noted that the board had voted unanimously to hire Threadgill. “I promise you that I will support you, along with our board,” he said.
Threadgill has attended the Alabama Superintendent’s Academy and Samford University’s Transformational Leadership Academy. He was named the Superintendent of the Year for the state’s District 3, and he represented Alabama at the Texas Superintendents Academy.
He is married to LaTanya, a science teacher, and they have three children: Sydni, a sophomore at Baker High; Alex, an eighth-grader at Causey Middle; and Coleman, a second-grader at Collier Elementary.