The Grady County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept the recommendation of Superintendent Lee M. Bailey and Superintendent-elect Dr. Kermit Gilliard to hire Mark A. Willis as the new principal at Whigham.
Willis will replace Principal Sherry Moncrief who is retiring at the end of this school term.
The Cairo Messenger first reported the selection of Willis on cairomessenger.com last Thursday.
Since January 1998 he has served as a health and physical education teacher at Whigham and a part-time assistant principal, but most recently full-time assistant principal at Whigham.
“I wish to express my gratitude for the faith and support of the Grady County Board of Education, Dr. Kermit Gilliard, Whigham School faculty, staff, students, parents, and the Whigham community in offering me the position of principal at Whigham School. I accept with thanks and a deep commitment to justify that trust. My predecessors, Demetrius Cox and Sherry Moncrief, have provided outstanding leadership for Whigham School. I have learned so much under their guidance. This is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I look forward to assuming the role,” Willis said this week.
Willis began his career with the Grady County School System in 1988 as a physical education teacher at Eastside Elementary School, where he worked for 10 years before transferring to Whigham.
During his tenure, he has coached football and baseball at Cairo High School and football at the middle school level.
Willis earned his Bachelor of Science/Health and Physical Education in 1988 from Georgia Southwestern State University and his M.Ed. Educational Leadership and Supervision from Albany State University in 2004.
“Whigham School has a history of tremendous leadership and is expected to carry on that tradition under the direction of Mr. Mark Willis. Over the past couple of years, I have seen Mark taking ownership of that school. Sherry Moncrief has done a wonderful job leading Whigham School by following in the footsteps of Mrs. Demetrius Cox and I expect the same transition under the new management,” Grady County School Superintendent Lee M. Bailey said.
Dr. Gilliard said, “Mr. Mark Willis is ready for the challenge of serving as Whigham School principal. He has worked at Whigham for the past 17 years as a PE instructor and assistant principal. Mr. Willis is very familiar with the Whigham community and its high standards for excellence. I am proud that Mr. Willis is eager to lead the Indians as the school’s new principal.”