Fayette County is located in northwest Alabama at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain Range. The city of Fayette is the county seat and has the largest population in the county. The area is surrounded with rich agricultural low lands and rolling hills, very conducive to farming and other agricultural occupations. Other area employment includes manufacturing, mining, medical, city and county government services, small businesses, and local professionals. The estimated median family income for the county in 2007 was $41,300. The per capita personal income for the county is well below the state and national average.
In the shadows of our historic courthouse, the newly renovated downtown is home to our annual block party held each summer. The nearby Fayette Civic Center, which is our former Fayette Grammar School, has been recently renovated and is used by local groups as an auditorium/conference center. An art gallery has also been established inside the Civic Center by the Fayette Art Museum Board. We have a very strong park and recreation program that provides local youth an early start in sports and is a source of community pride. The city also holds an annual arts and crafts event, the Cruise In antique car show, and the Frog Level Festival. Fayette was called Frog Level before it was finally established as "Fayette" in 1898.
The county's first school was incorporated in 1838 as the Fayette Male and Female Academy. The county's first Superintendent of Education was elected in 1856, and the schools became a unified county system at that time. The school system currently has six board members who are elected from single-member districts for six year staggered terms. The system also has an elected superintendent who serves a four year term. Our current Superintendent, Mrs. Reba Anderson, was recognized in the Alabama School Boards Journal, Spring 2007 edition article, "Leading Ladies: Rise to Superintendency."
The 2000 census shows Fayette County with a population of 18,495. Current enrollment for our county system is 2,438, serving students in grades K-12. Fayette Elementary School serves grades K-4 with 573 students. Fayette Middle School houses grades 5-8 with 481 students. Fayette County High School houses grades 9-12 with 423 students. One of our rural schools, Hubbertville School, serves 376 students in grades K-12. We have two schools in the town of Berry in a rural area of Fayette County. Berry Elementary School houses grades K-6 and serves 295 students and Berry High School houses grades 7-12 and serves 290 students. The loss of local industry the last few years has affected student enrollment and the economic status of families in the county. As of 2007, the county had an unemployment rate of 4.0%. The school population in our county currently averages approximately 56% economically deprived students, based on free/reduced lunch status.