Union native and current Union Middle School Principal Tyler Hansford has been selected as the next superintendent of the Union Public School District. He was hired during a special called board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15.
Hansford will begin his new role July 1. He replaces Wayne McDill, who has held the interim superintendent position since August 2017. Hansford has been an employee of UPSD for the past seven years. He was a biology instructor at the high school before being hired as middle school principal in 2014.
Hansford is currently enrolled in the Mississippi School Boards Association Prospective Superintendent Leadership Academy and was a finalist for the Webster County superintendent position last fall. He is also scheduled to participate in the National Institute for School Leadership's National Superintendent Academy.
He attended East Central Community College, holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Mississippi State University, a master's degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University, a specialist degree in instructional leadership from William Carey University, and is currently pursuing his doctorate at William Carey. This will be his first job as superintendent.
"I cannot overstate my excitement at having the opportunity to lead the Union Public School District. The track record of success here is really unrivaled," Hansford stated. "The district prepares students to go anywhere they want in life, from Ivy League schools to leading jobs in the labor force. We will build upon that tradition of excellence."
Hansford met with staff and administrators during a district-wide meeting last week, and will continue to serve as middle school principal until June. He will be involved with all aspects of the planning process for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.
"My vision for the district," Hansford reiterated, "is to remain a world-class academic institution capable of preparing its graduates to attend any college of their choice or be the best at any vocation they find passion in."
Hansford's plans for the district, which he shared during the interview process, made quite an impression.
"The board interviewed some very qualified and able candidates for the superintendent position," said board president Chad Brasher. "We agreed unanimously that Mr. Hansford's vision mirrors our goal to make UPSD the model for rural education not only in Mississippi but in the entire country."
Brasher continued, "We are confident this goal can be attained with Mr. Hansford's leadership, our outstanding faculty and staff, and the incredible students and families at Union."
Hansford's wife, Brandi, is also a Union graduate and currently works as a neonatal registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Anderson Regional Medical Center. They have one daughter, Camryn. The Hansfords attend First Baptist Church of Union.
"I'm excited about utilizing what I believe to be our district's greatest asset: its people!" emphasized Hansford. "The one constant here is that we have really good people - from students, to teachers, to parents and community members."