On the same day it announced the top five candidates to replace outgoing Superintendent Robbie Owen, the Baldwin County Board of Education also approved his temporary replacement. Hope Zeanah, a longtime educator in the Baldwin County public school system, was unanimously approved as the system’s interim superintendent at the board’s meeting in Bay Minette on Thursday. Friday will be her first day in office.

Zeanah began her career as a teacher in Gulf Shores, then moved to Elberta as an assistant principal for six years, followed by a 16-year stint as the principal at Elberta Elementary School. When Owen took over as superintendent before the 2014-15 school year, Zeanah was appointed as an assistant superintendent.

“Baldwin County has a great school system and it is an honor for me to be able to serve our students, teachers, and principals we have,” Zeanah said.

Zeanah’s name had been considered for a permanent assistant superintendent position at a previous board meeting, but the vote was delayed with the assumption she could be a candidate to become the interim superintendent. She said she will not have a part in the search for the next permanent superintendent.

“I will not be involved in the search, that will be up to our board,” she said.

In late May Owen announced his intention to resign from the superintendent position and return to his previous job as principal at Rockwell Elementary School in Spanish Fort, where he served for 17 years before becoming superintendent.