07/23/04 — Byrd takes pay cut for job in Princeton

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Byrd takes pay cut for job in Princeton

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on July 23, 2004 2:00 PM

Gene Byrd, a former principal in Wayne County, has taken a $2,300-per-year pay cut to become assistant principal at Princeton High School in Johnston County.

His last official day in the Wayne County school system was Monday, according to Olivia Pierce, spokesman for the schools.

Byrd had transferred to the Eastern Wayne Middle position at the end of the school year from Southern Wayne High School, where he was principal for one year.

School officials and Byrd say his moves had nothing to do with a controversy over students being allowed into the National Honor Society at Southern Wayne High.

A veteran teacher left the school for Johnston County in protest because she said the students did not meet the requirements. Byrd had said it was his decision that led to the students being admitted and that the students deserved the honor.

Byrd had been at Eastern Wayne since June as a result of an annual reorganization, said Ms. Pierce. He had requested to be transferred to Eastern Wayne in the early spring for personal reasons, she said. Byrd also served as principal at Spring Creek High School for two years, said Ms. Pierce.

Byrd said he accepted the job in Princeton because, with less responsibility, the new job allows him to be more time for his family.

He said the move is nothing negative toward the Wayne County school system, and he did not leave as a disgruntled employee. He said if he had been offered the Princeton position earlier, he probably would not have taken the principal's job at Eastern Wayne Middle School.

Byrd said he worked in Johnston County schools before coming to Wayne County and has a lot of good friends there. He said his salary at Princeton is $65,000, which includes supplements.

His total salary as of July 1 was $67,300 in Wayne County.

Byrd lives in Goldsboro's Forest Hill neighborhood just north of the Martin Luther King Expressway near the Spence Avenue exit.

Crystal Roberts, public information officer for Johnston County Schools, said Byrd started Tuesday at Princeton.

Dr. Steven Taylor, Wayne County schools superintendent, had announced Monday that he would recommend Keith Wright to replace Byrd at Eastern Wayne Middle. This recommendation will be presented to the Board of Education on Aug. 2.