20-Under-40: Where are they now?

Photo by Shawn Kirkpatrick

Education is Farrell Seymore’s passion


Shawn Kirkpatrick
Opelika Observer

Education is his passion and Opelika his home where he’s building a better future for his family and his students.
Dr. Farrell Seymore is not only the principal at Opelika High School, but was a member of the 20 Under 40 class of 2010. He was recruited by Lucinda Cannon who thought he’d be a great candidate. “At the time I was the principal at Opelika Middle School. It provided a wonderful experience of an overall look at the entire city and its workings and how dependent we all are within the city. It was a fantastic experience.”
Seymore said he learned how a certain board works, how revenue is collected, how police and fire departments work and the city schools and how it all ties together. “To me getting to look behind the curtain and see how it is all interconnected was the beauty of this whole experience.”
And from an educator’s point of view, Seymore said it was very helpful because he found out what the need was in the community and took it back to his business, education. “This is what our industry needs today and this is what they’re going to need 5 years or 10 years from now. So it helped me keep a culture pulse on the needs for our students to be more successful and equipped for the world.”
Seymore said being in the 20 Under 40 program taught him the importance of building, recruiting and sustaining families in Opelika. “You have no choice but to become engaged and feel like you’re a part.
It’s more than just establishing connections it’s about understanding your community, as I saw it.
And it’s the opportunity to grow leaders and hope they reinvest in our community and be here for a long time.”
Seymore has been in the Opelika School System for 21 years, the last seven as Principal of Opelika High School. He said he feels incredibly blessed to work in the city’s school system. “I’ve chosen Opelika and it’s a very special place. My Mom and Dad visited here last weekend and they’re always, continually amazed at our wonderful sense of community the town has been able to establish. It’s about the people and all the things that provide the citizens, including my children. ”
The take away from the year he spent in the 20 Under 40 program, Seymore said it’s all about everyone investing together in our city. “I remember the people in the program and to understand and appreciate that we all had a role to play and we all came from a different part of the community and to see that ultimately our goals were the same, we want it to be the best community possible. We all want to be better because we are Opelika, and this is my Opelika, and it’s wonderful to share the experience with other people.”


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