New principal approved by school board
Cousins Middle assistant to take job at Indian Creek

COVINGTON - The Newton County Board of Education approved a new principal for Indian Creek Middle School at its work session last week.

The board unanimously approved Dr. Renee Mallard, current assistant principal at Cousins Middle School, to assume the role for the 2008-09 school year. The position was left open by the move of current Indian Creek Principal Samantha Fuhrey, who the board approved as Newton County School System's director of professional learning beginning after this school year.

"Indian Creek has great people, a great program and hard workers, so I'm very excited and looking forward to working there," Mallard said in a press release from NCSS. "I know I'm going into a great environment with so many positive things going on. That will make the transition a lot easier."

She will miss the students and her co-workers at Cousins.

"It's bittersweet," she said about the move. "I'm so excited about the new position but sad to leave my Cousins family. I feel like a kid going off to college."

Mallard has been assistant principal at Cousins since 2004; she began in education at Fairview Elementary School as a third grade teacher in 1991 and later taught community education employment at Sharp Learning Center and literature and language arts at Veterans Memorial and Clements middle schools.

"She has the leadership and personal skills necessary to lead the Indian Creek faculty and staff and inspire their students for increasing achievement," said Steven Whatley, superintendent for NCSS, in the school system's press release. "We are especially pleased when existing leadership personnel assume principalship positions as they become available."

Mallard, a 1990 graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a bachelor of arts in psychology and early childhood education, received a master's of education in reading instruction in 1995, a specialist degree in language and literacy in 1998 and a doctorate in teaching and learning in 2005 from Georgia State University. She also is nationally board certified in early adolescence and English language arts and is a member of the International Reading Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Georgia Reading Association and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, according to the school system's release.

"We welcome Dr. Mallard to Indian Creek and look forward to the accomplishments she will have in this district," Whatley said at the work session.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.