The Grady County Board of Education unanimously accepted the recommendation of Dr. Tommy Pharis Tuesday night naming Shelia Cain, the Eastside assistant principal, as the replacement for Eastside Principal Kermit Gilliard.
Gilliard has been named the new principal of Washington Middle School.
Ms. Cain has served as the assistant principal at Eastside since 2006. Prior to that, she worked for two years at Southside Elementary School as a fifth grade teacher.
Before joining the Grady County Schools in 2004, Ms. Cain worked as a paraprofessional in the Pelham City Schools from 1981-1990. On graduation from Valdosta State University in 1990, she was employed from 1991 to 1996 as a third grade teacher in the Pelham City Schools, and from 1996 until 2004 she was a gifted education teacher/coordinator.
“Ms. Cain will pick right up where Mr. Gilliard left off. She is familiar with our school system and she buys into our instructional philosophy,”Superintendent Pharis said.
“She enjoys working with parents, teachers and students. Ms. Cain is proactive as far as her vision for the school and she is ready to go to work,” Dr. Pharis added.
The superintendent also commented that Ms. Cain has strong support from the Eastside community and family.
The new Eastside principal is truly sold on Eastside and has even recruited her two grandchildren as students.
“If I didn’t think this was the very best school I would not have encouraged their parents to send them here,” Ms. Cain says.
She is quick to point out that her primary goal is continuous gains in student achievement for all Eastside students.
“This is a very exciting opportunity and, as I told Dr. Pharis, I am looking forward to keeping some of the Eastside traditions from past administrations, but I am looking for new, innovative ways to make continuous gains in student achievement. I want us to combine the past, present and future to achieve the best for our students,” the new principal said.
She added, “We have a lot of talented, dedicated teachers and staff members who will help Eastside students continue to make strides.”
The board also accepted the recommendation of Dr. Pharis to transfer Gary Keve from Washington Middle School, where he serves as an assistant principal, to serve as the assistant principal at Eastside.
Keve joined the local school system in 1992 as a 7th grade science teacher at Washington. He was promoted to assistant principal in 2004 and has served in that capacity at WMS through this school term.
Prior to Grady County, Keve taught high school science in 1990 at Riverview Academy in Albany.
“I know that he will work very well with the Eastside students, parents and staff. He truly cares about the kids and will be an asset to the school, just as he was to the WMS program while he was there. I have a lot of faith in him being able to work with all constituents, which is very important for school administrators,” Dr. Pharis said.
The transfer of Keve from WMS to Eastside and the nonrenewal of Elizabeth Heinlen, a second WMS assistant principal, based on a reduction in force combined with the transfer of Tilda Brimm, a Cairo High School assistant principal, to WMS as the lone assistant allows the school board to accomplish its goal of eliminating two assistant principalships systemwide as they work to fill a $1.4 million hole in projected revenues for the 2009-2010 school term.