New superintendent named

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 25, 2005

Dr. Fannie L. Major-McKenzie was named the new superintendent of the Dallas County School System after receiving a two-thirds vote Thursday night from the school board.

McKenzie has been with the school system for 27 years, serving the last 11 years as Director of Special Education Services.

She has also served as the school system’s Speech-Language Pathologist and was an adjunct professor at Concordia College.

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After her name was announced, Major-McKenzie said she felt “humbled and honored” to be given such a huge responsibility.

“When much is given, much is expected,” Major-McKenzie said. “I am committed to working with the boys and girls of Dallas County.”

Major-McKenzie said her goals for the role of superintendent include focusing on enhanced strategic planning and organization, working with the principals on leadership and pushing achievement to the next level.

Board members also unanimously voted to name current Superintendent Wayne May a special assistant to the board until he retires this summer.

May said he fully supported the board’s choice for his successor.

“I’ve worked with her (Major-McKenzie) for many years,” he said. “She is very professional and has many years of experience.”

Board members Regina Story and Peggy Williamson voted against Major-McKenzie, but both said they believe the new superintendent would do a good job.

“She (Major-McKenzie) was not my choice, but I stand behind her,” Story said.

Williamson said she would also support the new superintendent.

“I believe she will provide a caring environment for our children,” Williamson said.

Major-McKenzie was one of six candidates the board interviewed on Monday and Tuesday.

The other candidates were: Kenneth Oliver, a principle from Tuskegee; Susan Jones, Dallas County High principal; William Burns, former superintendent of the Geneva County School System; Tonya Chestnut, Title 1 Coordinator for Dallas County Schools; and Sydney Brown, an assistant professor at Alabama State University.

Board member Bill Minor said choosing a superintendent was not an easy decision for the board.

“All we can do now is roll up our sleeves and live by our decision,” he said.

Board chairman Ollis Grayson said the board wanted to name their superintendent by the first of April.

“I didn’t take me long to make a decision. I knew what we had and the type of person I wanted for the job,” he said.

Major-McKenzie was awarded at three-year contract with the board and will take over her position in April.