School administrators get new assignments

The Grady County Board of Education on Tuesday night unanimously approved a plan by the county school superintendent to make a major shift in the administrative personnel at several of the county’s public schools.
School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard met with each affected administrator prior to the spring break holiday last week and presented his recommendation to the board this week.
Assistant principals from Cairo High School, Whigham Elementary School, Northside Elementary School, Southside Elementary School, and Washington Middle School will have new assignments when schools reopen later this year for the 2017-2018 school term.
“The moves are all being made to give our assistant principals experience at different grade levels in an effort to prepare them for higher administrative roles in the future. I made it clear to each one that none of them was being moved because of anything they had done wrong,” Dr. Gilliard said.
According to the superintendent, the majority of the assistant principals being moved to new assignments were working at schools where they had taught.
“The moves will give them a different perspective of our school system. We have great principals and central office leaders, however, a couple are at or near retirement age and most can retire in the next three to five years. We need to make sure we have prepared our assistant principals to step into leadership roles as principals and central office personnel retire,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Cairo High School Assistant Principal Michael Best, a 21 year veteran of the school system, has been named assistant principal at Northside Elementary School where he replaces Natalie Hudson, the current Northside assistant principal, who will be moving to Washington Middle School as an assistant principal.
Best began his career in education as a classroom teacher at Washington in August 1995. After teaching at WMS for four years he was transferred to Cairo High School where he taught for nine years before being named the high school graduation coach, a post he held for four years. Most recently he has served as the virtual school director and a CHS assistant principal.
In addition to serving as the Northside assistant principal, Best will also work as the school’s instructional coordinator.
Hudson came to work as a teacher at Northside in July 2005 and taught there for 10 years. For the last two years she has served as the school’s assistant principal.
Washington Middle School Assistant Principal Christina Isaac is being transferred to Southside Elementary School to serve as assistant principal under Southside Principal Janet Walden. Isaac will be replaced by Natalie Hudson.
Isaac will be taking the place of Dr. Cheryl Larkins who was hired Tuesday night as the next principal of Northside Elementary School. Isaac was hired as a teacher at Washington in August 2002 and has taught there for 13 years. The last two years she has served as a WMS assistant principal.
Another Washington Middle School assistant principal being reassigned is Zack Wilson. Wilson will become the assistant principal of Whigham Elementary School and take the place of Justin Amaro, who is moving to Washington to replace Wilson.
Wilson was hired as a teacher at Whigham in July 2003 and taught there one year before transferring to Washington where he taught for 11 years. For the last two years he has served as an assistant principal at Washington.
Amaro, an assistant principal at Whigham for the last two years, came to work for the Grady County School System in January 2007 as a teacher at Cairo High School. He taught at the high school for seven and a half years before being named Whigham assistant principal two years ago.
“When you have worked at different schools with different programs, you are better prepared to see the whole system and how it takes us all, working together, to be the Grady County School System. Each school, each program, each student, each staff person is vital to our students’ success. When my time as superintendent is finished, I want our school system to be better than I found it and this can only happen if we do proper training of our staff,” Dr. Gilliard said.
In related news from Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the board:
Approved the hiring of the following personnel: Tanya Clark – speech language pathologist; Jason Whittaker – PE teacher at Washington Middle School; Jonathan Moore – math teacher at Washington Middle School, and Morgan Blough – English teacher at Cairo High School.
Accepted the resignations of: Jorden Gamble – media specialist at Southside Elementary School; Latoria Williams – school nutrition worker; Constance Wiggins – math teacher at Washington Middle School, Myra Would – guidance counselor at WMS; and Lorre Carr – science teacher at WMS.
Approved retirements of: Tonya Knight – special ed teacher at Southside Elementary School; Julie York – guidance counselor at Cairo High School; Suela Gainous – special ed teacher at CHS; Lisa LeGette – English teacher at CHS; Lynn Davis – art teacher at CHS; and Bettie Stafford – Social Studies teacher at Washington Middle School.

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