Lanier living ‘dream’
New principal and director of the Escambia Brewton Career Center, David Lanier believes his job is a “dream come true.”
Lanier, a Brewton native, graduated from W.S. Neal High School in 1987 and then attended Jefferson Davis Community College for two years. He graduated from Auburn University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree and got his first job in ag science in Butler County. He then became the ag science teacher at Monroe County High School from 1994 until June 1996, when he was able to secure a teaching job at his old home school, W.S. Neal High School.
“I knew that I wanted to go into teaching,” Lanier said. “When I started to teach I finally could see what I actually wanted to do was to in be in administration. With that in mind, I attended and received my first master’s degree in school counseling at Alabama State University, and later got my second masters degree in educational leadership and administration at Auburn University.”
Lanier was hired as the counselor at Escambia County High School in 2007.
During the same years, he joined the 1165th Military Police National Guard Unit in Brewton. He, like so many others who were members of the guard at the time, was soon on his way to Iraq. He is still a member of the guard, but when his old unit is sent to Afghanistan next January, he will not be going. His tour of duty will end in December.
“I would like to rejoin the guard somewhere down the road,” Lanier said. “I have in 14 years and would like to make it to 20 if I can.”
By 2008, Lanier was serving as both counselor at Escambia County High Schiool and assistant principal. This summer he was hired to become the principal and career technical director of the Escambia County Brewton Career Technical School. He replaced Jane Henderson, who retired from the position.
“I have been headed this way for a number of years,” Lanier said. “It is a dream come true for me to be able to work here. Now I will finally have time to spend with my wife, Mandy, and my two girls, Cassi and Aleigh. They are both students at W.S. Neal Middle School. Over the years, I have put in so many long hours at work, I haven’t been able to spend as much time with them as I wanted. In fact, that is the reason that I went through college as fast as I could.”
The Escambia Brewton Career Technical Center has eight teachers, 21 programs and a student body of around 200.
“I love it here,” said Lanier. “It is hands on here and I really like that. My doors are always open to both the students and the public.”
The Career Technical Center offers programs in a variety of disciplines for students, from auto mechanics to welding to child care.
“It is very seldom that there are problems with our students,” he said. “They need to be reprimanded when they need it, but they also need to be praised when they need it.”
The school year began with an interesting test of the students’ and faculty’s safety, but Lanier said everyone did what needed to be done.
“Last week we were put in lock down when the sheriff’s officers were looking for a suspect in our area,” he said. “Everything went perfectly with our students. They did the things they needed to do and I was very proud of all of them.”
Lanier’s duties include being at the center in Brewon, where students come from T.R. Miller High School, W.S. Neal High School and Flomaton High School, but he is also in charge of the center that is located at Escambia County High School.
“The prior leadership has played a big part in making our job easier,” Lanier said. “The teachers have all been here for a long time. There is probably over 100 years of teaching skills here.”