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Dale County Schools Superintendent named 2014 Superintendent of the Year

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School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA) and Classworks, a SSA Premium Business Partner, are proud to announce the selection of Mr. Donny Bynum as the 2014 Alabama Superintendent of the Year.

Mr. Bynum was selected from nine finalists throughout the state, each of whom is an outstanding superintendent. He will be honored at the SSA Superintendent of the Year Luncheon on January 14, 2014, held during the association's Legislative Conference in Montgomery.

Classworks will provide Mr. Bynum with a Superintendent of the Year ring plus travel expenses to the AASA National Conference on Education, to be held February 13 - 15, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee. At the National Conference, Mr. Bynum will receive a bronze medallion with the Superintendent of the Year emblem, and a plaque from the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), SSA's national affiliate and national sponsor of this program.

Each state's winner will be recognized during the opening General Session where the national winner will be announced.

Mr. Bynum has served as Superintendent of the Dale County School System since November 2009. Prior tohis superintendency, he served as an Education Specialist with the Alabama Department of Education and in variouscapacities in the Dale County School System including Transportation Supervisor; Principal at G. W. Long Elementary School; Assistant Principal at G.W. Long School (K12); Teacher and Coach.

Mr. Bynum holds an AA Degree in School Administration plus a Master of Science in School Administration, both from Troy University in Dothan, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Troy University.

Dr. Linda C. Young, President of Wallace Community College shares, "During Mr. Bynum's tenure as Dale County Superintendent, Donny has led by being a true professional and serving as an extraordinary example to others.

Last January, his school district reacted to an unspeakable tragedy when school bus driver Charles Poland was killed, and a student was taken hostage from the school bus and held in an underground bunker for six days. All watched with much admiration as the Dale County School System, under Donny's capable leadership, responded with grace and compassion and emerged stronger and more united; truly a reminder of how we should respond when faced with adversity.

Dale County Board Member Bill McSween says, "I have the pleasure of working with Donny and seeing first hand the kind of individual we have as our Superintendent. I see his tremendous abilities as an administrator and as an individual dealing on a personal level with employees, parents, and students." McSween adds, "He is constantly looking for ways to advance education in our county while also being very resourceful and accountable for our system's
financial condition."

"Donny Bynum is an inspiration to all of us in the way he leads the students, teachers, and community in Dale County. His calm demeanor and committed leadership were especially apparent last year when his entire community was enveloped in the Midland City crisis. We are all proud to have him representing us on the national stage," says Dr. Eric Mackey, SSA Executive Director.

Some of the organizations Mr. Bynum is involved with include the Dale County Children's Policy Council; Dale County United Way Board of Directors; District III President on the School Superintendents of Alabama Board of Directors; and he and his wife Paula, a retired educator, are members of the Ozark Baptist Church. He and Paula have two children, Mason, an Investigator for the Dale County Sheriff's Office, and Elizabeth, a Speech Language Pathologist
in Duval County Schools, Florida.

SSA's runner up for the 2014 Superintendent of the Year, Tarrant City Schools Superintendent Dr. Shelly Mize, has served in her current position since December 2010 and as Interim Superintendent for five months prior. Before the superintendency, Dr. Mize served at Tarrant Elementary School as Principal and System Testing Coordinator/ Assistant
Principal. She also served as a fifth grade Teacher at Tarrant Middle School. Dr. Mize earned a Doctorate of Education; an Educational Specialist Degree; an Educational Administrative Certificate; and a Master of Arts, all from Samford University; and a Bachelor of Science from UAB.

"Dr. Mize is a leader in instructional design who values authentic dialogue with her teachers and staff as well as community leaders. Her peers also value her work and knowledge, which is shown forth in this nomination," says Dr. Eric Mackey.

Nominations for this award were submitted and voted on by members in each SSA District. Each finalist for thisaward is known as an outstanding leader and held in high regard by other superintendents as well as by his or her board, staff, community, and parents, and has distinguished himself or herself through stable leadership, innovative ideas, student
achievement, or leading through difficult situations. All District Finalists were recognized earlier this week during the SSA Fall Conference in Florence, AL. Other Superintendent of the Year finalists include Dr. Joe Walters, Satsuma City; Dr. Al Griffin, Demopolis City; Dr. Mark Neighbors, Opelika City; Dr. Jeff Goodwin, Oxford City; Mr. Ryan Hollingsworth, Marion County; Mr. Heath Grimes, Lawrence County; and Mr. Jim Carr, Blount County. Each of these superintendents does an outstanding job and deserves the recognition of this program.

School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA) provides a united voice for superintendents in our state. SSA promotes public education in Alabama and the nation; is the leading advocate for children and youth in our state; provides a forum for discussion of educational issues; provides professional development for superintendents and their leadership team to promote the efficient and effective operation of the school system and the achievement of students; and is the organization for superintendents to influence policy makers and legislators.

From: School Superintendents of Alabama

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