School system hires central office directors

Published 2:07pm Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three individuals have been hired to fill central office positions in the Selma City School System.

The Selma City School board approved acting Selma Superintendent of Education’s recommendation during the June school board meeting to hire Marcy Sherfield, Zickeyous Byrd and Rafael Simmons as new central office directors.

Last Tuesday, they took on the duties that formerly belonged to former Selma Superintendent of Education Gerald Shirley, curriculum coordinator Wanda McCall and testing coordinator Mamie Solomon as central office directors.

Shirley, McCall and Solomon reached an “amicable agreement” with acting Superintendent of Education Larry DiChiara to depart from the system following DiChiara’s recommendation made in April to terminate the three, because they were not fulfilling their professional duties.

“We now have people in place that we should have had in place a long time ago,” Selma City School Board President Henry Hicks Sr. said. “These new people are going to be beneficial to our school system.”

Sherfield oversees human resources, testing and school counseling.

Simmons heads secondary curriculum and federal programming.

Byrd is the director of elementary curriculum and professional development.

Originally from Mobile, Sherfield received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Troy State University and her master’s degree in school counseling and education specialist from Troy University in Phenix City.

For a total of 10 years, Sherfield was previously employed as an elementary teacher and counselor of the Lee County School System and a consultant teacher, education specialist, director of human resources, test coordinator and guidance coordinator of the Phenix City School System.

“I felt like it was time for a change and to be challenged some,” Sherfield said. “I knew that it was time for something new.”

Simmons, a native of Macon, Ga., graduated from Columbus State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and Troy University with a master’s degree in education leadership.

Simmons has worked at Harris County School System as the district level instruction coordinator, primarily overseeing secondary curriculum.

Simmons said the Selma City School System has a lot of potential, and the addition of his talents can help improve the system.

“I don’t want to let the business of school get in the way of what we’re doing,” Simmons said. “It’s about making sure that out students have all the opportunities in the world when they leave us.”

Mobile native Byrd graduated from Concordia College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Byrd previously worked a principal in the Escambia County School System and a teacher and assistant principal in the Mobile County Public Schools System.

Byrd said he is excited about his new position with the Selma City School System.

“I want to basically be a support to all of our schools and focus more on accountability to ensure that all of our students are reaching the standards,” Byrd said.

DiChiara provided the update, slated timeline after the July Selma City School work session for the hiring process of the new Selma Superintendent of Education.

Possibly starting in January, the public will have a chance to get involved in the process of identifying the criteria that the new superintendent should meet.

Next, then applications for the position will be available followed by advertisement for the position and the interview process.

“It will definitely be a public process,” DiChiara said.

DiChiara said he is hoping they will be able to hire a new superintendent by June 1. He also said he is still seeking guidance from the Alabama State Department of Education on the details of the hiring process.

“What I just don’t know yet is whether that final decision will reside with the board or the chief administrative officer or the state superintendent,” DiChiara said.

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