Wilder interviewed earlier this month after named one of five finalists for the job. Gardendale, a Birmingham suburb, recently formed its own school district after a split with Jefferson County.
Wilder became Dothan superintendent in 2011 and recently signed a new agreement that expires in 2017. He previously held the same position in Port St. Joe, Florida.
"I just wanted to talk with the Gardendale board and see the town," Wilder said via text message shortly after the vote was taken. "My wife and I did that and I am very happy and satisfied in Dothan." Wilder said earlier he didn't initially seek the job but, instead, his name was submitted by a recruiter.