Top 5 Selma City Schools superintendent candidates

The Selma City School Board unanimously approved the top five candidates for the next superintendent during a special called meeting on Tuesday.

The board will interview these candidates on June 13 and June 14. The board also plans to host a reception when the public can also meet the candidates at a date and time that will be announced.  

Two candidates already work for Selma City Schools, Cicely Curtis and Ozella Ford.

The candidates, in alphabetical order, are: 

Dr. Angela Bush

Dr. Angela Bush received a Bachelor of Arts and master’s degree in English Education from Alabama A&M University.Dr. Bush, a life-long learner, continued her graduate studies at the University of Montevallo, receiving an Educational Specialist Degree in Teacher Leadership. As an ever­evolving professional, she expanded her scope of knowledge byattending Samford University, earning an Educational Doctorate Degree in 2012.

As the principal of Erwin Middle School in Jefferson County, Dr. Bush made notable strides to move the school from a low-performing school to a model high-performing school in the school district, city and state. Over the last three yearsat Erwin, she has moved the school’s attendance, academics and behavior in a positive direction. Being under Dr.Bush's innovative leadership, US News has now ranked Erwin Middle School as No. 5 of the 15 middle schools in Jefferson County. She has facilitated and presented at conferences locally, statewide and nationally.

Throughout her 27 years as a professional educator and administrator, her success has been highly attributed to building positive and meaningful relationships within the community. Her life philosophy is “When you value people, you will ALWAYS yield positive results.” Dr. Bush prides herself on always putting the best interest of the students first.

Dr. Bush has one son, Hasan Abdullah, who is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Hasan now serves as a Naval Officer on Naval Base San Diego.

Zickeyous M.  Byrd

Zickeyous M. Byrd serves as the Superintendent of Education for Barbour County Schools. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Byrd served as Superintendent of Conecuh County Schools. Previously, he was Executive Director of Leadership and Continuous Improvement for the Montgomery Public School System and Education Administrator with the Alabama Department of Education, where he provided assistance to school principals across the state.

Dr. Byrd also served as and was noted as a successful and experienced Turnaround Principal having successfully served as principal of elementary, middle and high schools in both Mobile County and Escambia County School Systems. Most notably, Dr. Byrd led two underperforming schools to high-achieving schools within only two years of arriving at each school. For his accomplishments, Dr. Byrd has been recognized with numerous honors including Key to the City of Atmore, recipient of both Alabama House and Senate Proclamations for drastic and expedient School Improvement, Mobile Area Education Foundation Teacher of the year and frequent guest lecturer for Alabama State University’s Instructional Leadership Program.

Dr. Byrd is 1996 graduate of McIntosh High School. He furthered his studies at Concordia College-Selma where he obtained his BS Degree in Elementary Education in less than three years, making him the youngest teacher in the Mobile County Schools at 20 years of age. He continued his studies at the University of South Alabama earning Master of Education and Education Specialist Degrees in Education Administration and a Doctorate of Education from Walden University. His doctoral dissertation and research, “School Administrators’ Perspectives on Race, SocialFactors and the Achievement Gap in K-12 Schools” has served as a framework in his work with Instructional Leaders across Alabama.

Dr. Byrd is married to the former Kimberly Hall and is the proud father of three children, Zikeya, Hannah and Jordan.

Cicely N. Curtis

Cicely Curtis, a 1995 graduate of Selma High School is thrilled to serve as an educator in her hometown. Curtis’ road to becoming an educator began after graduating in 2005 from Concordia College with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Teaching. Immediately after graduation, she was hired as a fourth-grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary School.

“As an Edgewood Busy Bee, I was assigned to Classroom 15, an enormous room with its own restroom in the back corner,” Curtis said. “Each day was a great day of teaching and learning, and this was the place that manifested the vision and accomplishment of me becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.”

In 2012, Curtis became a fourth-grade teacher at Clark Elementary School and in 2013, was moved to an Instructional Coach position. She completed her Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership at Alabama State a year later and was hired as Assistant Principal at R.B. Hudson Middle School. In 2015, she was named Principal of School of Discovery Genesis Center (SOD).

“Serving as the principal of SOD was rewarding,” Curtis said. “It afforded me the opportunity to meet and impact over 200 anxious, new scholars each year. The greatest disadvantage, however, was only having our scholars for one year, because SOD serves only sixth grade students.” During her tenure at SOD, Curtis was the Golden AppleAward Winner and was later recognized as being WAKA’s Educator of the Year.

Cicely Curtis has a unique way of leading! Currently, she has completed her third year as Principal of R.B. HudsonSTEAM Academy where she is committed to leading with passion and heart. Curtis has been graced to achieve many accomplishments during her educational journey. In 2019 she was honored for her commitment to excellence at the Bridge Crossing Jubilee Awards Dinner where she received the Bridge Award for her dedication to “Bridging Divides and Building the Beloved Community”. Curtis also received the Bridging the Community Award from Fresh Anointing Church Family for her service to Selma’s youth. In addition, Curtis has received district level awards for her work in the Selma City School District, with one being the Aim for Excellence Award. State levelhonors include being selected as the 2021-2022 Middle School Principal of the Year for District 3 and and one ofthe top three in the State of Alabama, 2020 CLAS School of Distinction and CLAS Banner School, 2021 Model School and Presenter in Nashville, Tennessee.

Curtis credits her family as a big part of her success. For the last 20 years, she has been married to Walter Curtis, a Lieutenant with the Selma Police Department. They have four children: Ebonaa (24), Walteria (17), Rachel (14), and Walter III (11). She is the daughter of Edward Nelson and Rachel West Milhouse, who is the co-author of the bookSelma, Lord, Selma.

Curtis, a member of Gospel Tabernacle Church, said that her life goal is to “fulfill my God-given purpose.” “Whatever I do in life, I desire to be in God’s perfect will and to enjoy the abundant, good life that is planned,” shesaid. “In doing that, He will give me my heart’s desires, with one being to serve people and my community in a greater capacity for a Better Selma. After all, purpose is what gives life meaning.”

Dr. Ozella D. Ford 

Dr. Ozella D. Ford has a wealth of professional experience gained through varied positions of enhanced responsibilities. As a career educator, she has worked in capacities where academic excellence in teaching and learning served as the capstone in the success of schools. Currently, Ford is employed as the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning with the Selma City School district.

Ford’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Education in Elementary Education, a Master’s Level Certification in Educational Administration and an Education Specialist degree in Elementary Education, all from Auburn University Montgomery. In addition, she has a Master of Science in Adult Education earned at Troy University Montgomery.

Ford has spent the last 20-plus years working as a catalyst in the transformation of schools. She has years of teaching experience in elementary education and varied postsecondary teaching exposures at the collegiate level. Furthermore, she has served as both assistant principal and principal, as well as anassessment program coordinator at Alabama State University. Above all, she cites as her greatest accomplishment the ability to shape effective, student-centered, 21st century learning environments that promote the growth and development of students as well as teachers.

Dr. Monte Linebarger 

Dr. Monte Linebarger is more commonly known as the “The Champion Principal.” He has 20 years of educational experience. Linebarger has served as a teacher and coach on the middle school and high school levels. His educational experience includes teacher, assistant principal, elementary principal and the elementary director of instruction.

His awards include 'Teacher of the Year' at Martin Luther King, Jr. High for the Dekalb County School District in 2007, Boy Scouts District Award of Merit, Community Partner of the Year 2104, Special Education Principal of the Year 2014, ZEST KIDS Honoree 2015, and Black History Honoree byTuscaloosa Mayor Mayor Walt Maddox in 2017. He is a 2019 graduate of the University of AlabamaSuperintendents Academy. Dr. Linebarger has served on the Board of Directors for Easter Seales andserved as the AAESA District lll President of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools. He is currently the Elementary Director of Instruction for Huntsville City Schools. In addition, Linebarger is a mentor, public speaker and educational consultant. Dr. Linebarger is an active member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and mentor for the fraternity’s Guide Right Mentor initiative for young men.

His enthusiasm, real talk approach and encouraging presentations are the fuel that ignites teachers,students and administrators. Linebarger began his public speaking career on the national level at the ASCD conference in 2014. He had the honor to present his research at the ASCD Convention in 2014 to educators from all across the country. The presentation was titled “I am Different, Why Black Boys Fight.” In addition, he is the author of “Blueprint of a Master Teacher.”. The book is a framework to dealing with ethics, leadership and classroom management.

Linebarger work is based on the quote summarized from the work of the great Frederick Douglas, “It’seasier to build strong children than to repair broken men. 

Note: The biographical information was to the Selma Sun by the Selma City School Board. The information submitted to them by the candidates had different formats and styles. 

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