By Emily Williams
When Mountain Brook City Schools students go back to classes in August, they might be seeing a new face in the principal’s office.
Philip Holley will be taking over as Mountain Brook High School’s principal, and Sandy Ritchey will begin as principal of Cherokee Bend Elementary. The changes begin the first of July.
Holley takes over as former Principal Amanda Hood moves to the Board of Education to be student services director.
Holley has been assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at MBHS. He has been teaching for 19 years and has coached football, basketball, baseball, softball and soccer. For 11 years, he was a science teacher and assistant coach at Mountain Brook Junior High School. He also worked as an assistant principal at Riverchase Elementary and Vestavia Hills High before joining the MBHS staff in 2016 in his current position.
Among his recognitions during his teaching career, Holley received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2005, was nominated for Alabama Teacher of the year in 2010 and received the Margaret Spencer Ragland Award for excellence in teaching in 2011.
“Philip Holley is highly regarded by his students, his colleagues and by parents. His demonstration of excellence in teaching and his extensive experience as a leader make him the ideal choice to serve as principal of our high school,” school Superintendent Dicky Barlow said in a released statement.
Ritchey, currently an assistant principal at Cherokee Bend, will be taking over the position of principal following the retirement of Principal Betsy Bell.
She taught at Hoover’s Green Valley Elementary before joining the Mountain Brook schools as a reading coach at Crestline Elementary, where she worked from 2013 to 2017, when she joined Cherokee Bend.
Holding a bachelor’s and master’s in elementary education from UAB, Ritchey is working toward a doctorate in educational leadership.
In addition to her administrative role, she has served as president of the Birmingham Area Reading Council and is a member of the International Literacy Association and the Alabama Reading Association.
Her recognitions include receiving Crestline’s inaugural Jerome Lewis Legacy Award in 2017, District VII Alabama Teacher of the Year in 2016 and alternate Elementary Alabama State Teacher of the Year in 2017.
Moving on Up
Hood will be filling the position held by Dr. Dale Wisely, who will be retiring from the school system after serving as director of student services for the past 12 years.
Barlow said Hood has shown herself to be the perfect person for her new position. She has been principal at the high school for five years, after serving as an assistant principal at MBHS and principal of MBJH.
In her 19-year career in education, Hood also has worked as a math teacher and cheerleading coach at Oak Mountain High School and assistant principal for curriculum and instruction at Spain Park High School.
Her recognitions include the University of Montevallo’s Lawrence L. Malone Outstanding Principal Award in 2013. She also is active in the Council for Leaders of Alabama School and the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals. ❖