Search to replace Byrd begins

Published 5:46 am Saturday, January 19, 2013

The search has begun for a candidate to replace recently departed Escambia County High School Principal Dr. Zickeyous Byrd, who moved on Tuesday to a position with the Alabama Department of Education.


Stepping in for Byrd at ECHS will be newly appointed Interim Principal Dennis Fuqua, who will begin the job pending approval from the Escambia County Board of Education at their regular meeting on Thursday.

Assistant Superintendent John Knott said Fuqua has not yet been finalized as the interim administrator, but has been on campus in Atmore familiarizing himself with the school in anticipation of the board’s okay.

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“It’s not official until the board votes on it and approves it,” Knott said Friday. “But he’s over there today just kind of getting the lay of the land and just getting acclimated to the building.”

Fuqua, who spent nine years as assistant principal of Flomaton High School, is an Escambia County native who Knott said is familiar with how the county system works.

“Dennis has been serving as assistant principal in Flomaton,” Knott said. “He’s familiar with the system and already has relationships built with quite a few of the faculty members.”

Knott said Byrd left ECHS with very capable leadership, but the presence of a principal figure on campus was a necessity.

“We have two assistant principals (at ECHS),” Knott said. “They are very capable and doing a great job. This is no reflection there. We just had to have a principal.”

With the temporary position all but sewn up, Knott said attention is already on finding a new, permanent replacement for Byrd.

“The job has been posted and we know it will run at least until Feb. 15, or until we make a selection,” he said. “We already have started receiving some applications. We’ll continue to be open. But our plans are to leave Mr. Fuqua in place until we have it finalized.”

Knott said, while Fuqua would be considered just like any other candidate, were he to apply for the job, serving as interim will not give him any kind of advantage in the job hunt.

“He has made no indication that he will or won’t and he will have the same opportunity open to him, but the position is wide open,” Knott said. “We just want to make sure we find the best person to be the best fit for this school.”