Superintendent Amy Bryan to retire in June
Butler County Board of Education superintendent Amy Bryan will offer her intent to retire this week, and the board could take steps toward looking for a replacement as early as this Thursday during a special called board meeting.
“At our special called board meeting on Thursday at 5 p.m., the board will officially accept my intent to retire and probably discuss a plan for recruiting and selection,” Bryan said.
“My three-year contract ends June 30, which, with a year of accumulated sick leave, equals 30 years of service. It’s almost too good to be true that I can actually retire at age 51 with a comfortable pension. In the words of one of my retired friends, “I’ve had about all of the fun I want!”
In Bryan’s three-year tenure as superintendent of Butler County’s schools, she was named the Alabama Community Education Association’s 2015 Superintendent of the Year, as well as a nominee for School Superintendents of Alabama’s 2016 Superintendent of the Year.
Bryan was also named the Alabama School Public Relations Association’s Outstanding Leader of School/Community Public Relations and one of 25 Superintendent to Watch from around the nation, according to the National School Public Relations Association.
She was also selected to participate in the Superintendent Leaders’ Network of the Alabama Best Practices Center.
In addition to her personal recognitions, Bryan also led the Butler County School System to a litany of accomplishments. Chief among those accomplishments are refinancing a bond that earned $3 million in savings; said savings are now funding the replacement of buildings at W.O. Parmer Elementary School and McKenzie School.
Butler County Schools also earned system-wide accreditation under Bryan’s leadership.
She also led the creation of a five-year strategic plan and created state award-winning communications in the form of the annual report, the system’s website and marketing campaign. Pre-K and career tech also experienced significant growth, earning a pair of national recognitions in the process.
“I am proud of every single personal award I received, both state and national, as well as the district ones,” Bryan said.
“They collectively show that Butler County’s people and programs are competitive with the best.”
But perhaps the biggest award Bryan and the various members of the Butler County Board of Education achieved is an improved perception of the system among its constituents.
“We’ve worked hard to brand ourselves and share our successes with our parents and community,” Bryan added.
“The best way I can show that support increased is that the ‘Save Butler County Schools’ Facebook group was changed to ‘Support Butler County Schools.’
“Momentum began to swing in a much more positive way after that group was on board. We have a large following on our social media, and we have won awards for our communications–all things that helped to increase pride in our schools.”
There are a number of aspects of the job that Bryan will miss about the position, especially her coworkers.
“I will miss interacting with my huge work family,” Bryan said. “We have so many who really care about our students and schools and are great at what they do. I admire, love, and will miss them. As I share news of my retirement, the best response I’ve heard is ‘Good for you, but I’m sad for us.’
“Being the hometown girl helped in earning the great support and appreciation of school employees, the school board, and the community. Of course, I know that the board will find a great person to lead that will do even greater things for our students. I look forward to cheering on the next superintendent.”
Fortunately for Bryan, she already has several ideas on how to fill the rather large void in her time previously occupied by the superintendent position.
“I have no worries about being bored in retirement because I have numerous interests,” Bryan said. “I hope to play a role in helping our newly formed foundation become successful enough to benefit students in the classroom.
“I’ve completed three half marathons and will continue to work on being healthy and fit. I’d love to be more present and helpful to my family. There’s just so much to I look forward to!”