Harbison named FHS principal
Said fact that 90 percent of FHS staff graduated from FHS was a big key to his decision to apply
July 28, 2022
Flomaton High School students will have a new principal this year as Mark Harbison was approved last Friday by the Escambia County (Ala.) Board of Education by unanimous vote. Harbison will replace George Brown, who served as Flomaton's principal for one year before being names assistant superintendent. Harbison comes to Flomaton from Perdido School, K-8 school in northern Baldwin County, where he was assistant principal for the last six years. He and wife Kacey Harbison, who still teaches fourth grade at Belforest Elementary in Daphne, have a 2-year- old daughter, Abigail Elouise. Harbison, 37, has several degrees under his belt, including a specialized education degree and a leadership degree. He went to high school at Albertville High School, then went to Snead State Community College, where he earned his associates degree. He has a kinesiology degree from the University of Alabama, a master's degree in physical education from Jacksonville State and an instructional leadership master's degree at the University Of West Alabama. His educational experience began in 2007, at Pell City High School, as an alternative school teacher and football and track coach until 2011. From 2011 to 2014, he was an alternative school teacher and coached football and softball at Baldwin County High School. He served as assistant principal from 2014 to 2016 at Pine Grove Elementary, and then as assistant principal at Perdido School from 2016- 2022. When asked how he found out about the FHS principal position, he said he was just looking one day online and found it. "Actually I was looking online one day at principal job openings in Alabama and I came across Flomaton," said Harbison. "I've known George Brown for a while, when he was at Baldwin County. His wife taught for me at Perdido and I asked her about it." Harbison lives in Daphne right now and is commuting, but has plans to buy a house in the Flomaton area in the future. Where wife teaches is right across the street from where his 2-year-old daughter's daycare, so they are managing currently. Harbison is impressed that 90 percent of his staff are Flomaton graduates, something he credits to Flomaton being a great place people don't want to leave. "It puts you in a mindset that this is a place people don't want to leave," he said. "They want to come back and make their community better by educating their kids. Whenever you find a school where people want their kids to be students there, that's going to be a special place." Harbison said the only reason he got into education was that he wants to build stronger leaders for the next generation and as a coach who has worked with many high-schoolers in his coaching career, he wants to help kids find their true passion to be able to be a leader, to build stronger men and women. He said this has been a journey for him and his wife and they knew this is the path they wanted to take, especially since his wife is in education too. Both Harbison and his wife grew up in a small town in North Alabama, he and his wife are very excited and hope to raise their daughter in a community like Flomaton. "We are both fired up, I'm ready for it," said Harbison. "This is a new challenge for me and I am ready for it."