PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi school district will have new leadership at the start of the new year.
News outlets report the Jackson County School Board voted Monday to replace longtime Superintendent Barry Amacker with John Strycker, who is superintendent of schools in Butler County, Alabama, and a former superintendent in Michigan.
This year is the first that Mississippi school boards are charged with appointing a superintendent. Previously, voters elected school superintendents. Strycker's appointment, which carries an annual salary of $150,000, begins Jan. 1 and runs through June 30, 2023.
Amacker said in a statement that he was disappointed that he was not chosen. Still, he said, he's proud of the many accomplishments achieved during his past 12 years.
"It's been totally amazing. It's going to be awesome no matter who's sitting in the superintendent's chair. We have great kids, a great staff, and it's going to be awesome," said Amacker, whose term ends Dec. 31.
Strycker said the Jackson County School District's reputation attracted him.
"When I saw Jackson County, you don't have to do much research to see it's an outstanding school system," Strycker said. "Once I took a look and we visited the community it is a place you want to be. We're very excited."
Strycker said he has no plans to make immediate changes. "Over time there will be some changes, but my goal is to come in and listen and see what's going on and continue to add to the great things that are happening."
The board said it was impressed with Strycker's accomplishments in Alabama.
"Our understanding was they were a border line F to D school, and he went in and made the proper changes that were necessary," said board Vice Chairman Troy Frisbie. "In one year, they went from a borderline D-F to a C."