MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) -- Madison City Schools announced Sylvia Lambert as the new Bob Jones High School principal on Thursday. Lambert replaces Robby Parker, who was promoted as the district's new assistant superintendent last month.
Parker led the 11 person committee that selected Lambert out of roughly 50 qualified applicants. She most recently served as Bob Jones assistant principal over curriculum and instruction.
"Her expertise and her knowledge of Bob Jones High School understanding the expectations, she's going to take it higher than it's ever been," said Parker.
Lambert joined the district in 2009, but has worked in education for more than a decade. She also owned and managed her own employment business in Huntsville.
With the move, Lambert becomes the first-ever female principal at Bob Jones since the formation of Madison City Schools. School leaders said it was her influence on the students' academic achievements at Bob Jones that made her stand out from the rest of the applicants.
"We're all about instruction," said Superintendent Dee Fowler. "We build this district on the rock of instruction and she is a very strong rock."
In Lambert's short time at Bob Jones, the school has produced a record number of National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Twenty percent of the junior class scored a 30 or higher on the ACT, as well.
Lambert also continues the tradition of Bob Jones principals hiring their replacements.
"Bob Jones is a family," she said. "We have adults come back all the time that visit their teachers and that walk through our doors all the time and they talk about that family environment."
As a former Ole Miss softball player and former coach, Parker said she is the complete package.
"Her academic knowledge, her athletic knowledge and through her arts knowledge, she understands it all and she loves children and that's the bottom line," he said. "She understands that she is support personnel, that she is there for the students and the teachers. The students and the teachers are the only reason the school exists."
Meanwhile, Lambert said she is eager to start her new role within the district.
"I am excited to spend time with the students of Bob Jones High School. I can't wait. We have 26 days and we are ready to see their shining faces," she said.