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Three Newton principals set to retire

COVINGTON -- At least three Newton County administrators will retire at the end of the this school year.

Mansfield Elementary School Principal G.W. Davis, Newton County Theme School Principal Ruth Anne Smith and Eastside High School Principal Dennis Roddenberry have announced that they will retire at the end of the school year.

"A big thank you is in order for three (Newton County School System) professionals who have given of themselves, time and talent to the education of Newton County youth over the years," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews in his End of the Month notes sent out to staff on Wednesday. "Each has our well wishes and thanks for their many contributions to education in our county and to the many students, parents, staff and community members they have served."

System officials did not provide employment dates or more information about the three as of press time.

The positions currently are being advertised on www.teachgeorgia.org and the NCSS website.

"As we go about the important task of selecting new principals for these schools, we will follow our written administrative guidelines for screening and interviewing," Mathews said. "In both cases, screening and interviewing, a committee conducts the process."

Screening will take place involving the superintendent, deputy superintendent, the executive director for elementary or secondary education and a Human Resources representative, according to the administrative procedures for screening and interviewing candidates for principal.

The top candidates -- between three and seven -- will go before an interview committee, consisting of the same individuals, as well as a teacher and parent representative of the school councils, according to the procedures.

The committee will determine a top candidate whom the superintendent will recommend to the school board, but the superintendent has the ultimate decision as to which candidate he will nominate, the procedures state.

Newton County Board of Education member Almond Turner said he would encourage the school system to promote somebody from within the system.

The school board also recently approved Gabriel Burnette as an assistant principal for both Alcovy and Newton high schools.

He had worked as principal of Sharp Learning Center, but during the 2010-11 school year, he was on a military leave of absence.

"Upon his release from active duty, the Board of Education approved his appointment as administrator on assignment," said Nyree Sanders, director of Human Resources at NCSS. "His current assignment for the 2011-12 school year is split between Alcovy and Newton High School."

As part of the budget cuts earlier this school year, one assistant principal was cut from each Alcovy and Newton high schools, leaving four at each high school, to save $215,000.

Burnette's salary was not available as of press time.

Comments

bartsimpson 2 years, 1 month ago

Clean out the top spot at South Salem and Alcovy while you're at it!

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amp72 2 years, 1 month ago

Why would Almond Turner insist someone be promoted from within the system? Why are we afraid of getting new and creative ideas from someone with experience outside the system? If we don't then we are doomed to continue doing the same things we have been doing, which obviously isn't working. And we need a new principal at Alcovy, someone who is tough and not afraid to crack the whip. Mr. Burnette, with his military and administrative experience, would be perfect. He did a nice job at Sharp.

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Henrycounselor 2 years, 1 month ago

"Question for the public: If the deputy superintendent is on the search committee and his wife at Alcovy applies for any of these jobs how is that not a conflict of interest. Is he involved in principal evaluations or is he removed, and if removed then that is differential treatment so there are some serious issues in the chain of command here."

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Henrycounselor 2 years, 1 month ago

Citizen paper, open records her emails so the taxpayer can see what is being written against board members on school taxpayer work time. Meadors is the only white male on the board so I am sure he gets blamed for a lot. Would you want that job?

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amp72 2 years, 1 month ago

I agree the paper should open a records request, but a citizen can do it too. You don't need an attorney or anything. They make you pay for the copies but anyone can request records and they should.

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max0797 2 years, 1 month ago

I must respond to amp72. Sometimes promoting from in the system is a good thing. Look at the 3 schools that are losing their principals. Three of the most successful schools in Newton County. Schools that have very little faculty turn over. Happy schools are successful schools. It is hard to watch strong leaders leave their post but those things happen. However a principal is not the only person that makes a school strong. Being successful is a combination of Assistant Principals, teachers, paraprofessionals and all the support staff in a school. If you have a strong Assistant Principal, who has proven themselves. If you have someone who is well-liked and respected by not only the staff but the parents and students, Someone that can move into a principal position of a SUCCESSFUL school without the school ever missing it beat. To bring someone in that could change the dynamics of a successful school would be a terrible mistake. Amp72 makes the comment "If we don't (bring new people in) then we are doomed to continue doing the same things we have been doing, which obviously isn't working". Sometimes it IS working. There is a saying " If it ain't broke, don't fix it". There are schools in Newton County that are broken BUT these 3 are most definitely not. These are strong, healthy, schools who have strong people in place. Take time to look at their scores on achievement test. Let's don't rock the boat if it is sailing smoothly. Move people within that school who have proven themselves future leaders and strong educators. Don't let surrounding counties get our best and brighest upcoming leaders because IT IS HAPPENING. These educators are highly sought by other counties. We must keep them in Newton County. Bringing in people that have no connection or commentment to Newton County or it's school system is not always the best thing to do. I think that has been proven. Educational leaders who have children that have grown up in our school system, who have been a contributing citizen of this county make it a better place. We have some incredible people waiting in the wings for a principal position. I hope that job opens here for them.

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amp72 2 years, 1 month ago

That wasn't my point. My point was we shouldn't limit ourselves to transfers from within. Turner seems content to just promote from within without looking at some possibly innovative people from other parts of the state or country. Something is working at these schools, but who is to say someone from elsewhere in the county might come from an underperforming school and screw it up? That's just as risky as bringing in someone from somewhere else.

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Blueeyeddevil 2 years, 1 month ago

I know Dr. Matthews will find the right principals whether they come from Newton or another county or state. Thank you Mr. Meadors for coming to our school for Dr. Barge's visit and for holding your forums and keeping us informed through regular news articles. Mr. Peck would make a great theme school principal but we don't want him to ever leave HME

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Blueeyeddevil 2 years, 1 month ago

Why has the school board allowed this conflict of interest to exist. I asked one and they told me the principals report to the superintendent. But principals make hiring decisions all the time and that hiring falls under the deputy superintendent so if that is the case then the whole hiring process is contaminated. Case in point would be that Alcovy High will have preferential hiring or prejudiced hiring in terms of possible nepotism with friends, relations from former counties (check the records even in maintenance) and family. I looked up with the GA School Assn and know of no other county where this conflict is allowed even it the law allows it.

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spdracer90 2 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Davis we will miss you terribly. Thank you so much for all of your years of hard work and dedication.

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RascoeColtrane 2 years, 1 month ago

Loss of public confidence and a damaged reputation are the most likely results of a poorly managed conflict of interest. Because public confidence is important to most, boards should take steps to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

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hash12 2 years, 1 month ago

Mannsfield Ele. will never be the same, Mr. Davis is awesome! Loved him, and so do the kids.

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