Banyard earned a bachelor's in political science and master's in secondary education at Alcorn State University and served for four years in the U. S. Army, rising to the rank of captain. He taught school for five years before completing a doctorate at Mississippi State University in Starkville and an education specialist degree at Jackson State University.
He was recruited from East Marion High School in Marion County, Mississippi where he had built a reputation as a turnaround specialist. Interim superintendent Barbara Allen made the hire after months of protests from the Parker Foundation, a group of parents and alumni concerned about conditions at the high school. After taking over he immediately ordered a clean up of the school building and grounds, instituted stricter discipline policies and in-school suspension, and, along with his three assistants, scheduled most of the day in direct classroom supervision and teacher evaluation.
After one year in which Parker saw fewer disciplinary problems and improved test scores, the Birmingham Board of Education opted not to renew his contract, making room for a former central office administrator whose position was eliminated under a reorganization plan submitted by Superintendent Craig Witherspoon. He was succeeded by Cedric Tatum, formerly principal of South Hampton Elementary School.
- Leech, Marie (October 4, 2009) "New principal Spurgeon Banyard wields tough love in transforming Parker High School." Birmingham News
- Leech, Marie (June 7, 2010) "Birmingham school board replaces principal who boosted scores at Parker High." Birmingham News