Photo by Katie Turpen
Dr. Jim Reese
On Monday, April 6, Friends of Hoover hosted Hoover City Schools Interim Superintendent Jim Reese during their monthly meeting at the Egg and I.
Dr. Jim Reese was named Hoover City Schools’ new interim superintendent at the called board meeting Dec. 19. He is a native of Enterprise, Alabama. After graduating from Enterprise High School, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Troy University. He then went onto Auburn University, where he earned his master’s degree in History and his doctoral degree in educational leadership.
Dr. Reese worked in the Enterprise City School System for more than 30 years in multiple capacities, including the last nine years as superintendent of education. He retired from Enterprise City Schools in 2010. He and his wife Marcy have been married 38 years. They have a son, a daughter and five grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way.
Reese began his presentation by stating how pleased he was with the nature of the Hoover community and the school system. He has noticed many similarities between Hoover and Enterprise.
"People have been so wonderful everywhere I go," Reese said. "There are such diverse interests throughout the school system and high expectations of these students."
School safety should be the number one priority of any school administration he said, citing his experience handling a tornado that hit Enterprise on March 1, 2007. It left Reese with the task of rebuilding two schools and dealing with the deaths of eight students.
"Everywhere you looked there was ruble," Reese said, recalling the day's events. "There were so many stories of heroism that day. There was one coach who held the hand of a student who was trapped for two hours until she was rescued."
Several days after the tornado, the school administration held a meeting at a local church. It was then Reese realized how tragedy truly brings a community together.
"When I saw the resolve on the faces of the teachers and administrators, I knew we would make it through," Reese said. "It really renewed my faith in humanity."
In the days that followed, Reese recalls people traveling from all over the state to help the Enterprise community, including students from Hoover.
"The first day I was employed at Hoover City Schools, I stated that the tornados made me a better administrator and a better person," he said. "The things I used to worry about, I don't worry about as much anymore. It shows you that you can't predict everything."
Reese ended his presentation by discussing his time at the 20th annual Finley Awards in March. His advice for young people is to not be overly demanding on themselves and to remember that happiness is a journey rather than a destination.
Friends of Hoover is a service-based organization that discusses any issue that affects the citizens of Hoover. As an open organization, it encourages citizen participation in civic, cultural, and charitable activities that enhance quality of life in Hoover. The group meets the second Monday of each month at The Egg and I in Hoover.