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Scavella to be principal at Clements

Joy S. Scavella

Joy S. Scavella

COVINGTON -- Clements Middle School will go through some more changes this upcoming school year.

After the Newton County Board of Education earlier decided to revert the once parent-involvement theme school back to a regular middle school to serve grades six through eight for the 2010-11 school year, it also approved a new leader for the school.

In a special called meeting Tuesday morning, the school board approved Joy S. Scavella, a Peach County School System principal.

"Ms. Scavella impressed both the interview committee and me as to her depth of knowledge regarding instruction and school improvement," NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews said in a press release Tuesday afternoon. "I believe she will be a collaborative leader but firm on our obligation to teach successfully all children."

She has worked in Fort Valley in Peach County since 2003. She served as principal of Fort Valley Middle School from 2008-10, and as assistant principal at Hunt Elementary School from 2003-08. She began her career in education as a teacher at T.J. Elder Middle School in Washington County Schools and taught fourth grade from 2002-03 at Burdell-Hunt Elementary School in Bibb County Schools.

"Leaving Peach County is definitely bittersweet," said Scavella in the press release. "I've been there the last seven years, and I thank them for affording me all of the opportunities they have provided. I'm also very thankful for this new opportunity to continue to promote teaching and learning in Newton County."

She also will enjoy living closer to her family in Atlanta, where her husband works as a principal in Atlanta Public Schools.

Scavella plans to focus on professional development and community involvement and provide rigorous instruction for more student success.

During her last year as principal of Fort Valley Middle School, CRCT reading scores increased by 10 percent while CRCT math scores for students with disabilities increased by 14 percent. She also implemented a Future Problem Solvers program that resulted in Fort Valley Middle School's students winning first place in state competition and fourth place in the international competition, according to the press release.

Scavella earned both her bachelor's degree in middle grades education and her specialist degree in educational leadership and administration from Georgia College and State University in 1997 and 2000, respectively. She is working on a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

She is a member of the Optimist Club, the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and ASCD, a membership organization that provides professional development for educators to teach, lead and learn.

Pamela Carter and Eric Taylor will serve as assistant principals of Clements Middle School.

Current Clements Principal Jill Adams, who was hired for the 2009-10 school year to direct the parent-involvement theme school, will now work as one of five assistant principals at Alcovy High School during the 2010-11 school year, according to the NCSS directory. Newton High School also has five assistant principals, and Eastside High School has three assistant principals.