Superintendent gets ready to start new job

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 27, 2005

Dr. Fannie Major-McKenzie’s entire face lit up as she talked about the special needs children she used to teach.

“I’ve always loved children,” Major-McKenzie said. “It was such a rewarding experience. Words cannot express it.”

With her new role in the Dallas County School System, Major-McKenzie will be seeing a lot less of her students, but they will remain her main priority.

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Last week the school board voted Major-McKenzie as the system’s new superintendent.

Major-McKenzie will replace current Superintendent Wayne K. May next month. May will continue working as a special assistant to the board until his retirement this summer.

Part of his duties, May said at a board meeting on Thursday, would be to help Major-McKenzie in her transition superintendent.

May said he fully supported for 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.”

The transition should be an easy one, both Major-McKenzie and May said, because Major-McKenzie is far from being a stranger to the system.

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

“As a system supervisor, I work with principals on helping them to meet standards,” she said. “I am also the Parental Involvement Coordinator for Title 1, the At-Risk Coordinator and a coordinator of the System Health Program.”

Major-McKenzie said these many roles enabled her to become very familiar with the principals, teachers and staff of the school system.

Major-McKenzie got her start in the school system as a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Over the next few years Major-McKenzie worked with students who had learning disabilities, speech and hearing problems and mental retardation.

Major-McKenzie spent a lot of her time working with students at Dallas County High, Valley Grande Elementary,J.E. Terry Elementary and Tipton Middle School. She also rotated around all the schools in the system.

Major-McKenzie does not have any specific plans yet as to how she is going to improve the school system, but she does know of a few things that need improvement, the most important one being the school system’s dept.

“There are a lot of good things going on in the system, but we are going to have to do refine some of those things,” she said. “I’m excited about making a difference. It’s going to be a challenged, but I’m up to the task.”

Major-McKenzie grew up in Baldwin County and is a graduate of Baldwin County High School.

She attended Tuskegee University and earned her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Alabama. Major-McKenzie earned her doctorate in Education Leadership at Nova Southeastern University.