Leaving ECHS for CACC
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Dennis Fuqua, a Brewton native who has been principal at Escambia County High School for the past seven years, is heading home.
Fuqua, a graduate of and former football player at W.S. Neal High School, publicly confirmed last week that he has resigned his position at ECHS and will take over as campus director for Coastal Alabama Community College’s Brewton campus.
Fuqua, who was a student at CACC-Brewton when it was called Jefferson Davis Junior College, said his decision was not made in haste. He added that he has enjoyed his time at the Atmore school.
“It was not an easy decision, but I’ll be going back home,” he said. “I’ve had a wonderful seven years in Atmore and have made some lifelong friends in the community. I’ve also been a part of the lives of a lot of good students. I’m very thankful for my time at Escambia County High.”
Fuqua was a part of the county school system for 16 years, including a tenure as assistant principal at Flomaton High School and the county’s alternative school. He also was an agricultural science teacher for two years before beginning his administrative career.
“I wish the best for ECHS in the future, and for the Atmore community” he said. “I appreciate the people here welcoming me and treating me as part of their family.”
The Escambia County Board of Education formally accept Fuqua’s resignation last Thursday, December 19. Fuqua will reportedly assume his new position on January 13.
Superintendent of Education John Knott told a Brewton newspaper the board would begin immediately its search for a replacement for Fuqua and for David Lanier, the school system’s director of career and technical education who also resigned.
Knott praised both men as “dedicated to the job they do” and “focused on trying to meet the needs of their students.”
Lanier was head of the Brewton Career and Technical Center. He will reportedly take over as campus director for CACC’s Atmore campus on January 13.
Atmore Mayor Jim Staff said Knott told him the BOE would conduct a widespread search in its effort to replace the key administrators.
“He told me they were going to go far and wide in their search, like they did with the football coach,” Staff said, referring to the hiring last year of former Florala coach Scott Mason, who took over the ECHS program. “That doesn’t mean they won’t hire somebody from within the school system, but they’re going to look for someone willing to come in here and be a part of this community.”
The mayor added that the moves up to campus director by Fuqua and Lanier represent “a great opportunity for both of them, and a great opportunity for us (the community), too.”
Staff denied reports that he has been asked to appoint a committee to help suggest a replacement for Fuqua.
“I haven’t been asked to form a committee, not yet anyway,” he said. “I will if I’m asked, but we (city officials) are not experts, so I don’t know why they would ask us.”