Sentance, one of six finalists for the position, was interviewed by the Board on Aug. 4. He has worked with state, federal and local officials, along with advocacy groups, to improve public education for many years. He has also served as the President of Education Reform Strategies for Tribal USA; as the New England Regional Representative for the U.S. Department of Education; and as the Senior Education Advisor to the Governor of Massachusetts.
In his application for Alabama Schools Superintendent, Sentance shared some of his core beliefs about school improvement, saying:
I believe it is a moral imperative that standards be internationally benchmarked and the best public schools educators working with the best available academics from the state’s universities should be responsible for this endeavor. Academic standards constitute the covenant with the future of the state to raise achievement and create opportunity.
A graduate of Georgetown University, Sentance earned his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University of Law, and his Master of Laws from the Boston University School of Law.
Now that the Alabama State Board of Education has chosen its schools chief, the next step is for a sub-committee, chaired by Board Vice President Dr. Yvette Richardson, to determine the terms of Sentance’s salary and benefits package. President Pro Tem Mary Scott Hunter and Board members Stephanie Bell and Dr. Cynthia McCarty will also serve on the committee, which will make its recommendations to the full Board at a special called meeting to be announced at a later date.
The other candidates who were interviewed for the post were: Dr. Williamson Evers, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Dr. Dee Fowler, Superintendent, Madison City Schools; Dr. Craig Pouncey, Superintendent, Jefferson County Schools; Ms. Jeana Ross, Secretary, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education; and Dr. Janet Womack, Superintendent, Florence City Schools.