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Two Grady County schools will have new principals when school reopens later this year. Tuesday night, the Grady County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the recommended personnel changes.
Dr. Chery Larkins, the current principal of Northside Elementary School, will be taking over as principal of Southside Elementary School, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Southside principal Kevin Strickland.
Dr. Larkins has served as principal of Northside since July 2017. This is not her first administrative assignment at Southside, having served as the school’s assistant principal from July 2014 through July 2017.
Prior to coming to the Grady County School System, she served from 1993 until 2014 as the Parent Involvement Coordinator at Cross Creek Elementary School and Thomas County Middle School in Thomas County. She also taught at Northside Elementary School (1992-1993) and at Thomas County Middle School (1993-2000).
Dr. Larkins earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Fort Valley State University; a Masters of Education from Albany State University; and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Argosy University.
Taking over at Northside Elementary School will be Michael Singletary, who is currently serving as an instructional technologist at the central office, a post she accepted last August. From July 2017 until July 2020, Singletary served as the assistant principal and instructional coordinator under Dr. Larkins at Northside.
Principal Singletary began her career in education in May 2006 when she was hired as a classroom teacher at Eastside Elementary School, where she worked until August 2010 when she was hired as a reading/social studies teacher for the Pre-AP program at Washington Middle School.
In June 2014, she was hired as a STEM teacher and ALPHA science and social studies teacher at Southside, where she worked until becoming an administrator in 2017.
Singletary earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Thomas University; a Masters in Reading from Thomas University; and an Ed. Specialist in Ed. Leadership and Administration degree from Valdosta State University.
Brandon Joiner, a science teacher at Cairo High School, has been hired as the new assistant principal at Southside Elementary School.
Joiner taught in Colquitt County from August 2011 until May 2012 and then at Valdosta High School from August 2012 until July 2013. Since August 2013 he has taught science at Cairo High School.
The new Southside assistant principal earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Georgia; a Masters of Education from Valdosta State University; and an Education Specialist degree from V.S.U.
Last month, the board approved the hiring of Kelly Joyner as the new assistant principal at Whigham Elementary School.
Joyner has served as the instructional coordinator at Southside Elementary School since July 2017, the same school where she has worked since being hired as a classroom teacher in May 1997. She began her school career in 1996 as a paraprofessional at Southside.
Joyner earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Thomas University and a Masters of Education from Walden University.
In other personnel related news at the June meeting of the Grady County Board of Education, the board:
• Approved the hiring of the following: Charla West – paraprofessional at Shiver Elementary School (pending background check); Shanequa Thomas – science teacher at Cairo High School; Jack Chambers – business education teacher at C.H.S. (pending background check); Myisha Palmer – teacher at Eastside Elementary School; Lakara Miller – teacher at Eastside; Melissa Lamons – teacher at Northside Elementary School; Cooper Mayhall – P.E. teacher at Washington Middle School (pending background check); Kim Richard – teacher at Eastside; and Sharon Asbell – teacher at Southside Elementary School.
• Accepted the resignations of: Carrie Truelove – school nutrition worker at Shiver Elementary School; Angel Ponder – teacher at Washington Middle School; Milton Gloster – special education teacher at Cairo High School; Ciera Tucker – special ed. parapro. at C.H.S.; April Ferrell – media parapro. at C.H.S.; Brady Moore – teacher at W.M.S.; Celaya Mitchell – special ed. parapro. at C.H.S.; Erin Simpson – K-8 Literacy Coach; Felicia Armstrong – parapro. at Northside Elementary School; Palmer Cranford – technology support specialist; Melanie Simmons – special ed. parapro. at C.H.S.; Ellie Viers – parapro. at Shiver; Brian Boyett – teacher at W.M.S.; Kelsi DeLange – speech language pathologist; and Larry Harold – teacher/coach at C.H.S.
• Approved the retirement of Kevin Strickland – principal at Southside Elementary School and Terry Willis – custodian at Southside.
• Approved the transfer of the following personnel: Zach Gibson – from P.E. parapro. at Northside Elementary School to P.E. parapro. at Southside Elementary School; Daniel Coleman – from P.E. teacher at Northside to P.E. teacher at Southside; Rachel Griner – from ESOL teacher at Northside to middle grades teacher at Washington Middle School; and LaJuana Smith – from teacher at Southside to instructional coordinator at Southside.