Spain Park principal to retire

Spain Park High School has only known one principal in its entire existence – Billy Broadway. Next fall, students will have to get used to a new face in his place.

Broadway, who has been at Spain Park since its first year in 2001, is retiring, effective June 30. He said he decided to retire to devote more time to his family.

“I’m just getting old. I’m fixing to be 62, and I’ve basically done just about everything in education I can do,” he said. “And my wife is ready for me to retire.”

The Broadways will move back to their farm in south Georgia, where they began their teaching careers.

Broadway said the community around him, both in the school and in Hoover, has shown him their appreciation since the announcement.

“They’re very sad, the people that have talked to me. A lot of crying and that kind of stuff, because I’ve been the only principal they’ve known and change is upsetting to people,” he said. “But I’m sure they’ll find a real good principal to take my place.”

Broadway said he decided last summer to retire this year, but didn’t want to let anyone know until it was necessary.

“I didn’t want everybody to go through the whole year with uncertainty,” he said.

He said he would not be part of the search for the next principal. Instead, he just wants to enjoy his remaining time with his students.

“I think the thing I’ll remember most is the great kids that have come through this school. They’re some of the most unique individuals I’ve ever been around,” he said. “They’re so intelligent and so enthusiastic, it’s a joy to come to work every day.”

Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos said Broadway has helped Spain Park become an excellent school in a short time.

“Academically, there are some great programs there. Sports-wise, there are some great programs there,” he said. “It’s a great high school. He’s done a great job during the time he was here. We’re going to miss him.”

Broadway helped Spain Park win some of its biggest honors, including a 2008 National Blue Ribbon School honor from the U.S. Department of Education and a 2008 Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School award from Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. Broadway was also named the 2009 Alabama Secondary Principal of the Year.

When Broadway was principal at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Ala., that school also received Blue Ribbon School recognition from the U.S. Department of Education during the 1992-1993 school year.

Broadway has been an educator for almost 40 years.