South Girard School principal Jason Bryant will leave Phenix City to be principal of Sylacauga High School.
The Sylacauga Board of Education on Thursday voted to hire Bryant, effective July 1.
Bryant called the career move "bittersweet" after guiding South Girard the past four years.
"It's mixed emotions because at South Girard I really enjoyed the opportunity and I've grown as a leader," he said. "People can see the change in the culture of the school. It's student-centered and student-focused now, and I'd like to think I had a part in that."
Bryant, 39, has been an educator for 15 years. He worked for 11 years at Opelika High School, first as a science teacher and seven years as an assistant principal, and he wants to work in a high school again.
"I was very fortunate in Phenix City to be the district-level math chair and science chair, but I was still limited as far as scope," he said. "It is difficult when you have a group of kids for only one year."
South Girard is an eighth-grade school with about 500 students. Sylacauga High has about 700 students in grades 9-12.
"This was an opportunity to go back to the high school setting since I had worked there before and gives me four years to work with students instead of one year," Bryant said.
Bryant graduated from Houston County (Ala.) High School and earned bachelor's, master's and specialist degrees from Troy University. He is working on his doctorate at Auburn University.
Rod Hinton, interim superintendent of Phenix City Public Schools, said of Bryant's departure, "I'm sad for us and tickled to death for Jason. I've told him from the beginning of this process that I thought it would be a great professional move for him, and I support him 100 percent. He's well qualified, and he'll do a wonderful job."
As for Bryant's replacement, Hinton said, "We've got some good internal candidates, but we've got to go through the process."
That means the vacancy must be posted for 14 days, applications screened and interviews conducted.
Mark Rice, 706-576-6272. Follow Mark on Twitter@MarkRiceLE.