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Closing act

By Staff
Moss retiring as superintendent
Jonathan Willis
Bill Moss' career in education didn't turn out to be too bad, especially for a guy who never imagined being a teacher.
Almost 43 years after accepting what he thought at the time was a temporary job, Moss will be leaving the county school system's highest post later this month.
Moss, who did not seek a third term as county superintendent, will leave office on Oct. 31.
"That's a long time in education, especially for someone who planned to be an accountant," said Moss, who taught at Phil Campbell and Belgreen before spending 18 years at what is now Northwest-Shoals Community College.
"I graduated from Florence State in December 1965," Moss said.
"I rode over to Jackson County with a couple of my buddies who were looking for a job. I didn't go over there with the intentions of getting a job myself, but the superintendent told me that he had an opening as a coach and teacher at Section."
The rest, as they say, is history.
A year and a half later, the Deshler graduate was hired as a teacher and coach at Phil Campbell High School. There, he met his wife, Nelda, a 39-year teaching veteran at the school.
There were a couple of times during Moss' career where he stepped away from teaching for short periods of time, but he could never stay away.
He was a staple at Northwest Community College as a teacher and coach. Though he was best known for coaching men's basketball, Moss wore many hats there.
"I've done it all," he said. "I coached men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and men's and women's cross country. There was even a time when we didn't have a cheerleader coach, and I did that.
"I guess you could say I was a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none."
But his willingness and desire to help the students of Franklin County is what led him to his current role.
"There had been some turmoil in the system and I thought they needed someone from the outside," said Moss, who was first elected as superintendent in 2000 and again in 2004.
Despite facing three years of proration, the system was able to move forward with major renovation projects throughout the county, including the addition of a high school in Tharptown.
"I've always thought there needed to be a high school on the east end of the county," Moss said.
"We were transporting over 900 students into the Russellville system each day. It was the right thing to do to build a school there, and it has been very good for that community."
Moss' last official day in office will be Dec. 31, but he will use time he's built up for the last two months of that period.
"I think he's ready," said Gary Williams, who has worked as Moss' assistant superintendent for seven years and who will replace him as superintendent.
"There has been a lot of positive changes in the system since he's been here. He has made upgrades and improvements at just about each facility. There has been more capital projects than at any other time."
Williams said that Moss' desire to help the community and his toughness in going about doing his job is what makes him so successful.
"He went out on a limb, along with the board of education, to build Tharptown High School but it was the right thing to do and he believed that," he said. "He has a big heart and loves to help people. I think that's his best attribute."
Moss said he would like to do some adjunct teaching in the future, but nothing that ties his time up. He has three children, five grandchildren and one more on the way.
"I think I will stay busy," he said with a smile.