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Changes at ECHS

Knight named interim principal


News Staff Writer

Leadership changes have been made at Escambia County High School as the Escambia County Board of Education during its January 18 meeting accepted the resignation of ECHS principal Kike Pettaway, hired her to fill a vacancy in the system’s administrative staff, and named a popular coach and teacher to fill the position she is leaving vacant.
Coach Layton Knight, who in 2022 led the Blue Devils into their first-ever state basketball championship contest before finishing as Class 4A runner-up, has been named to replace Pettaway, at least for the time being.
“Layton will serve as interim until the end of this school year,” said Dr. Michele Collier, who is currently serving as Acting Superintendent. “Principal contracts are from July 1 through June 30, and the position will be permanently filled for the new contract year after the job is posted and the board approves a recommendation to hire.”
Knight, a native of Atmore and a U.S. Air Force veteran, attended the University of West Alabama, where he played basketball. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in education.
Collier said Tuesday morning, January 23, she met the previous afternoon with ECHS staff and faculty to inform them of the change in school leadership. She added that the job opening has been formally posted.
Pettaway, who has been the top administrator at ECHS since April 2022, voluntarily stepped down from her “Probationary Principal” position and will fill the school system’s vacant Mental Health Services Coordinator post.
That position was held by Marlo Young from the time it was established in 2020 until 2023, when Young left to pursue other endeavors after establishing a solid program within the school system. It had remained vacant since then.
The new Mental Health Services Coordinator served as the school system’s attendance supervisor from November 2021 until former ECHS Principal Amy Cabaniss retired and Pettaway was named to succeed her.
Pettaway, a former real estate agent, will work out of the Atmore Central Office. She was scheduled to begin her new duties this week.