JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - The Jackson County School Board unanimously voted to hire John Strycker as the new superintendent of the Jackson County School District Monday afternoon. WLOX reported the school board’s plans to vote for Strycker on Saturday.
Stryker comes to the Coast with 15 years of experience as a superintendent primarily in Michigan and the last two years in Butler County, Ala. He says he’ll lean on his experience to succeed here.
“It’s tough sometimes to do the right thing, make the right decisions, and sometimes it’s painful. I think it’s a combination of experience, following through and certainly the work ethic, just working hard and getting to know people in the community,” Stryker explained.
What stood out for the Board about Strycker were his 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," explained school board vice chairman Troy Frisbie. “In one year, they went from a borderline D-F to a C.”
Strycker’s term will be from Jan. 1, 2020 until June 30, 2023. He replaces current superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker, whose term ends on Dec. 31, 2019. Amacker served as the superintendent for the last 12 years.
Although Dr. Amacker also went through the eight month application process to keep his job, the board selected Strycker. But Amacker said he’s confident the school district is in good hands.
“I’m sorely disappointed that I wasn’t the choice of the board, but I’m very pleased about the accomplishments we’ve had over the last 12 years,” Dr. Amacker said. “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.”
Strycker says the reputation of the Jackson County School District is what attracted him.
“It’s already a great school system, and so, coming in here I’m going to do a lot of listening and looking at what’s happening," Stryker said. “Hopefully, my experience will contribute to making it even better than what it is.”
The school board’s decision came after a new Mississippi state law that no longer allows for school superintendents to be elected. Instead, they must now be appointed.