BOE set to name superintendent

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A meeting of the Escambia County School Board Thursday could end with the naming of the county’s superintendent of education.
Interim Superinten-dent Randall Little — who is a candidate for the post — said the subject of a new superintendent is on the agenda for discussion.
“We hope to have a decision from the board by 6 p.m. Thursday evening,” Little said. “The position of superintendent should be resolved by then.”
Zickeyous Byrd, principal at Escambia County High School in Atmore, is the other candidate. Little has been serving as interim superintendent since Billy Hines retired in December.
Both Little and Byrd were publicly interviewed by board members March 8 in an open setting at Flomaton High School.
“The tentative time line is to have a superintendent in place by June 1,” Little said. “The interim agreement for my position ends May 31.”
The board also has the discretion to change the timeline for a decision on naming the superintendent.
“The board hires only two people — the superintendent and the chief financial officer,” Little said. “They have the authority to expand the timeline or reduce the timeline for hiring in those positions.”
Little said if a selection is made Thursday, officials would then enter negotiations with the chosen applicant and a definite hire date would be announced based on those negotiations.
If Byrd is the choice for the position of superintendent, that selection would create a vacancy at Escambia County High School.
“If that is the case, the board would then have to advertise for that vacancy,” Little said. “Applicants would be interviewed and a new principal would need to be in place, at the latest, by July 1.”
During interviews earlier this month, both Little and Byrd related their plans for the system as well as outlined their experience for the position if chosen for the top spot for the school system.
Little, who has 40 years of experience in education, said the Escambia County school system is one of only a handful of Alabama districts that enjoy a reserve fund of more than the required one-month fiscal cushion.
“This system is currently sitting on a $12.6 million reserve,” Little told board members. “That is a testament to the work of this board and the voters in Escambia County.”
Little also pointed to his nearly six years as assistant superintendent as a major reason why he would be the most effective choice for superintendent.
Byrd, who has served as principal at ECHS and Escambia County Middle School, pointed out his administrative experience in the system as a benefit for the future of the system he hopes to lead.
“When Escambia County Middle School was in school improvement the board put their trust in a young man to help with that situation and when a change was needed at Escambia County High School the board came and asked him to take that on,” Byrd said. “That young man was me, and I feel I have the capacity to make a change now.”
The board will meet Thursday at 4 p.m. at the central office on Belleville Avenue.

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