Franklin County High School got a thorough shuffling of its administrative leadership last month.
In a schoolwide assembly on Jan. 30, Superintendent Traci Moses addressed the student body and formally introduced the new additions to the team, as well as some changes.
Michael Sneed has been named interim principal for the remainder of this year, succeeding Jill Rudd, who has been named to follow Dr. Sue Summers as director of special programs, after she announced she will not be returning next year.
Nathan West will join Sneed as the new assistant principal, along with returning assistant principal Shelly Miedona.
Moses told the gymnasium full of students and staff that she was confident of the changes, and welcomed Rudd, who recently received her doctorate, to the district office. “Mrs. Rudd knows our students, our staff and our community,” Moses said.
She also introduced the deans. Fourth grade teacher Donna Barber will journey outside of the classroom and support both students and teachers in her new role as elementary dean, succeeding West. Chuck Syverson will oversee the dean duties for the middle and high school.
Each administrator took a moment to address the students and staff and collectively presented a message of building relationships and furthering the Seahawk goals for success.
In a memo to the school board, Moses addressed the need to transfer Rudd due to the resignation of Summers and the magnitude that the position requires. Rudd will serve as the principal of the preschool and alternative education program in conjunction with particular duties relating to the office of special programs.
“Dr. Jill Rudd has the knowledge of our students, data, demographics, instructional programs and the leadership skills to ensure that there is no gap in student instructional services or reporting of federal and state programs to the appropriate agencies,” Moses wrote.
Sneed, born and raised in Perry, served in the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina for three years, and later earned a degree from the University of South Florida where he majored in criminology and ran track and field.
After teaching in Perry, and earning teaching certification in middle school math through Hillsborough school district’s SMART program, he taught, coached and served as an administrator in South Carolina.
“As this past summer came to an end, I received a text message from a childhood friend that told me there was an assistant principal position open on the beach near St. George Island. I decided after a couple of weeks to apply for the position because it would allow me to get closer to my friends and family and the rest is history,” he wrote in his bio.
“Since my family and I have arrived here, I have learned that when you work as a team you can bring about great change! My greatest strength is that I am able to adjust and adapt to any situation or conversation,” he said. “I will bring a culture of respect, high achievement, I’ll open doors for the students that need direction, and fill the school, community, and every person that I come into contact with love.
“God inspires me each and every day. Each day I have a chance to serve Him better than the previous day. My hobbies are preaching and teaching in Church, spending time with my wife and kids, and traveling,” Sneed wrote.
Miedona grew up on the south side of Chicago, and put herself through school by working two jobs and taking out student loans. She holds a bachelor of arts in social work and psychology, a master’s in education and a specialist degree in school administration.
A former elementary and middle school teacher, and an elementary math specialist for the state, she wrote that “perseverance is one of my strongest traits. Can’t is NOT a word in my vocabulary. I try every day to remove that word from the vocabulary of every child and adult I interact with on a daily basis.
“One thing I have learned being a Seahawk is an affirmation of my ‘why,’” Miedona said. ”I come to work each and every day because of the students at Franklin County School. The relationships I have made with the students, parents and teachers are what drive me.”
West, originally from Anniston, Alabama, earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Birmingham Southern College and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of North Texas.
An avid sportsmen, he later served as an assistant basketball for Iowa Central Community College, and after four years there, he and wife Lindsay moved here, where they are raising their son and newborn daughter.
“I hope as the assistant principal I can bring a level of trust. I want teachers, parents, and students to trust that I have their best interest in mind,” he wrote. “I want to show teachers support as they are the professionals in the classroom. I also want parents and students to know they can trust that I will make decisions that are best for them and their academic endeavors.”
Syverson holds a bachelors from St. Cloud State University and a masters from Bemidji State University, and taught for 28 years, predominately in the Midwest.
“I have strived to develop relationships with students, parents, and faculty,” he said, after serving for two years as dean. “I am looking forward to continuing to improve our school culture and helping student to become the best they can be.”
Barber, a lifelong Franklin County resident now in her 26th year teaching here, has spent most of those years in the fourth grade.
“I have dreams, compassion and goals for our youth, including my own children and grandchildren. People invested in my education here, and I want to do the same for the next generation,” she wrote.
Barber graduated from Carrabelle High School in 1988, attended Gulf Coast Community College and then earned a bachelors in science and masters in education from Florida State University.
“As I transition to my new role as elementary dean, I hope to continue building relationships with our students, their families, and the community in general,” she wrote. “I plan to spend as much time in the various elementary classrooms as possible, providing support to the students and teachers, and working on some on positive reinforcement strategies.
“I want to earn the trust and support of our community, so that together, we can guide our youngest Seahawks toward their best educational opportunities. I want our kids to want to be at school, to want to do their best, to respect the right of others to learn, and to understand the importance of their own learning,” Barber wrote. “I want to make a difference in the lives of Franklin County’s youth so that they can have fulfilling options in their adult lives.”