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New Northside Elementary School principal named

A local educator who began her career at Northside Elementary School is returning to the school as its new principal.
Dr. Cheryl Larkins, the current Southside Elementary School assistant principal, was named the new principal of Northside Elementary School at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Grady County Board of Education.
Dr. Larkins was hired in August 1992 as a teacher at Northside and taught there one year before leaving to teach with the Thomas County School System from 1993 until 2014 when she returned to Grady County as the assistant principal at Southside.
“I am excited to announce that Dr. Larkins will be the next principal of Northside. We had a total of 12 applicants and we interviewed the top four candidates. We really had some outstanding candidates so it made our decision difficult, but Dr. Larkins was the overall choice of our interview committee, which consisted of Northside School Council Chair Beverly Chance, Northside Teacher of the Year Amanda Ellis, Eastside Principal Chiquila Wright, Assistant Superintendent Laura Elliott, Assistant Superintendent Kevin Strickland, and myself,” Dr Gilliard said.
According to Superintendent Gilliard, Dr. Larkins stood out due to her experience at the elementary school level.
“She has worked as a parent coordinator and has ideas and plans to involve parents in their children’s education. Dr. Larkins is inheriting a faculty and staff that know their students and already provide great support to the students and their families,” Dr. Gilliard said.
She is a 1989 graduate of Fort Valley State University and holds a Master’s degree from Albany State University that she earned in 2000 and her Ph.D. from Argosy University that she earned in 2012.
Dr. Larkins will replace Northside Principal Pete Williams who is retiring. She will be joined by Assistant Principal Michael Best, who is being transferred to Northside from Cairo High School, where he held a similar post.
Superintendent Gilliard believes that Larkins and Best will make a good team.
“Our students at Northside score higher on state tests than other elementary school students in the system, yet the school has the highest number of students receiving public assistance. I expect this administrative team will continue to expand the opportunities for students at Northside,” Dr. Gilliard said.
The superintendent says that both Dr. Larkins and Best have superior networks within the community and he has warned the other principals that the Northside administrative team will be aggressive in fundraising and working to provide additional opportunities for Northside pupils.
“I see this as an asset for our Northside students,” Dr. Gilliard said.

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