Hello and welcome to Pickens County Virtual Academy!

I am excited to join the PCVA family as Director starting in January 2021. Prior to this, I served as Principal at Forest Acres for the past 10.5 years. Before my appointment to FAE, I spent 3 years as Assistant Principal at East End Elementary. I also have served as band director at Liberty Middle School and taught band, chorus, strings and even social studies at Berea High, and Berea and Parker Middle Schools in Greenville, South Carolina. While student teaching, I also gained experience at Daniel High, Easley High, and R.C. Edwards Middle schools in Pickens County.

I have lived in Easley for the past 22 years. After attending North Carolina State University, I transferred to Southern Wesleyan University and graduated with a B.A. degree in Music Education. I then received a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Clemson University. I also hold an Educational Specialist degree from Clemson. While I no longer teach music on a daily basis, I can often be found playing piano, drums, guitar, and even tuba at local churches and events whenever I can. I am also currently working on a PhD in Education at Clemson University.

My wife Amy and I both enjoy traveling, performing music, and spending time with our family. Amy is a chorus teacher at Easley High School in Easley - formerly at Gettys Middle in Easley. She was chosen as the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year for Gettys Middle. We are so proud of her ongoing success leading choral programs! We have two children: Will is in the 12th Grade at Easley High School this year and loves to learn with a special favorite of music. He is planning to major in music (piano performance) in at the University of South Carolina beginning in Fall 2021. He participated in the Easley High Marching Band for 6 years and performed in various ensembles throughout the year. He was also selected as the first chair pianist in the SC All-State Jazz Ensemble in 2021. Charlotte is an active young lady in the 6th grade at Gettys Middle School and loves singing and dancing to Mom and Dad’s favorite musicals. She is performing in Matilda with the Gettys drama department in spring 2021. We are so proud of our children!

Video Message featuring Mr. Byrd from his previous school, Forest Acres Elementary - https://youtu.be/6Tbg3C5GG5c

We are calling for all stakeholders to join the Pickens County Virtual Academy as we continue to meet the needs of students from all over Pickens County as we inspire them to learn. All teachers, staff members, parents, community members and students will be needed to realize our goals. We will always seek to remain focused on making student centered decisions and ask for the full support of everyone to help each student find success. I am excited to take on the challenge of growing the district’s current VIRTUAL activities to create ongoing opportunities that will engage our K12 SDPC students in a virtual environment to prepare them for future careers.

I invite you to become active in your child’s education. Show your child that you believe their education is important. Through teamwork, communication, and dedication to continuous improvement, PCVA will be a virtual environment where students will flourish !


Article from Southern Wesleyan University ALUMNI NEWS:

Darian Byrd, the Principal at Forest Acres Elementary School in Easley, S.C., sees harmony between his administrative role and his musical background. The former band teacher, who sees the arts as a key component of any student’s education, is happy to be part of a school that has kept a strong arts program in this time when schools are driven by test scores. “I want to be somebody who encourages the use of the arts in every subject,” said Byrd. He added that it is important to integrate more of the arts into a child’s educational experience. Byrd’s educational philosophy draws from his experiences as a music educator and from his musical training at Southern Wesleyan University and North Carolina State University. Byrd met his wife Amy while both were music majors and often practicing in studios next to each other.