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Bryan named finalist for Superintendent of the Year

The School Superintendents of Alabama named Butler County Schools’ Amy Bryan one of nine finalists for Superintedent of the Year. Bryan was selected among 12 school systems within the state’s second district.

The School Superintendents of Alabama named Butler County Schools’ Amy Bryan one of nine finalists for Superintedent of the Year. Bryan was selected among 12 school systems within the state’s second district.

Butler County Schools superintendent Amy Bryan found herself in a familiar position last week as one of nine finalists for Superintendent of the Year, according to the School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA).

But she added that it’s not her own decorated history of achievements that got her the nomination, but rather the stories told within the halls of Butler County Schools.

Bryan has been no stranger to either statewide or national achievements since taking on the superintendent position in March 2014.  She was named Superintendent to Watch (one of 25 nationwide) by the National School Public Relations Association earlier this year.

In addition, the Alabama School Public Relations Association named her Outstanding Leader of School/Community Relations in 2015.

Also, most pertinently, the Alabama Community Education Association named her State Superintendent of the Year at the closure of her first school year in March 2015.

Despite the laundry list of accomplishments, Bryan considers this latest just as meaningful due in large part to the selection process.  She was chosen to represent the state’s District 2, which includes 12 school systems among nine counties.

“Of course, I don’t expect to win, but I am very honored to be such a young superintendent, experience-wise, because I know a lot of great superintendents who haven’t had this honor yet,” Bryan said. “So yes, I’m very thrilled about it.”

Bryan, who has been an educator within the Butler County School System since 1988, said that her main goal as superintendent of the Butler County School System is to marry school with community, and show those on the periphery the best fruit of the system’s labor.

“Telling our great stories that are going on in our school was one of my platforms when I interviewed for the position,” Bryan said. “Because I knew there were great things going on in our schools, but we weren’t telling them. So I have been hopefully able to make a significant difference in telling our stories and that’s evident in some of the state and national honors that we’ve won.  We have a lot of social media happening to tell our story, and publications like our annual report. 

“All of those things are telling our community the great things that are going on, and that has caused more community buy-in.  Because the people that don’t have students in our school maybe couldn’t care less, and maybe only hear the negative, unless we’re pumping out the successes that we do have in our schools.”

Though Bryan takes little credit for the number of honors she’s accumulated—those belong to the school system itself, in her words—the recognition does, in a way, validate the various programs she has helped institute.

“I think I was nominated from that group of District 2 superintendents because they know of the honors we have already accumulated, and that might make me stand out from others who haven’t been telling their story as effectively and earning those kinds of personal and school district awards for their districts,” Bryan said.

“So it makes me feel like maybe I did do something right in my three years.”

The statewide judging of Alabama’s finalists, and also the announcement of the Superintendent of the Year, will occur during the SSA Fall Conference in Florence, Ala., which will be held Oct. 9-11.