As Adkins spoke to the crowd Monday night to express his gratitude, he said he was humbled by their support.
“(When you are elected) you realize how important the position is and how unimportant you need to be to do it well,” he said. “I just want to tell each and every one of you, thank you.”
Adkins also thanked his parents for their support.
“Anything I’m doing now is the result of the experiences and the love and the home life I had growing up,” he said.
He also said he is incredibly grateful to his wife and children for their hard work and patience during his run for office.
“There’s a lot of other things they would have rather been doing on Saturdays,” he said as the crowd laughed.
A number of local officials attended the ceremony, including the majority of the county Board of Education. All of the board members present said they came to show their support and their willingness to work with Adkins for the best interests of the students.
“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” said Board Chairman Brad Ingle, who introduced Adkins for the ceremony.
Adkins said the board’s aim in the coming months will be to eliminate the personal politics that keep the focus off providing children a quality education.
He said his chief goals will be to better manage the district’s finances and to have more transparency in the board’s decisions and business.
Adkins won against former Superintendent Vonda Beaty in the Democratic Primary Election on June 1, 2010, receiving 5,645 votes to Beaty’s 3,277.
Adkins ran unopposed after Republican candidate Harvey Sanford withdrew from the race less than a week after the primaries.
Adkins graduated from Cordova High School in 1989 and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Alabama, which he attended on a football scholarship.
He obtained his master’s at Alabama A&M University and his doctorate at Samford University.
He began his education career at Dora High School in 1994 as a Spanish teacher and coach. He also taught at Curry High School and served as an assistant principal at Parrish High School.
Ten years ago, he transferred from Parrish to become the principal of Cordova High School.
Adkins said he grew up in a family awash with educators. His father and grandfather were principals. His mother is a speech instructor at Bevill State Community College and his sister is a speech pathologist for the county schools.
When asked why he wanted to become an educator, he said “What makes a bird migrate south. I just never thought of doing anything else.”