William R. Combs III, Principal of Hibbett Middle School in Florence, resigned earlier today. Superintendent Janet Womack reportedly asked for Comb's resignation five days before the start of the fall term; however, the official letter of resignation stated family problems were at the root of Combs' sudden departure.
A brief bio of Combs who took the helm on June 1, 2011:
This is my fourteenth year in education. My history in education began in Mobile County Schools where I was an English teacher for nine years. I have also served in Thomasville City Schools and Covington County schools as assistant principal and federal programs coordinator. I grew up in Mobile, Alabama and graduated from Baker High school in 1987 where I would earn a scholarship to play football at Copiah Lincoln Community College. After my tenure at Copiah Lincoln, I would go on to play at The University of Alabama for Coach Bill Curry where I was a member of the 1990 USFG Sugar Bowl team. I truly believe that nothing in life comes easy, but the rewards from hard work will continue to pay dividends for years to come. It is my goal to instill a strong work ethic in your child and help them realize their potential as well as overcome any obstacle that may be in their way.
Our sources are predicting a scramble to find a replacement; Assistant Principal Rose McGee is expected to fill in. Hibbett came in next to last in two areas in the most recent round of standardized testing. Womack has stated she wishes to make the Florence system the best in the state within five years of her arrival.
On a related note, we've been asked how many public high schools have an equestrian team? We have absolutely no idea. We do know that Florence's is the first in the state. We support such extracurricular activities, but in a time of proration, we can see how some would view this as totally superfluous.
We hope to have a statement from a school board member in the next few days.