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Newton school board approves principals

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Education has selected two principals to replace two of three retiring principals this school year.

During the school board's monthly meeting Tuesday, the board unanimously approved Jeff Cher as principal of Eastside High School, effective July 1, and Dr. Lynne DiNardo will be principal of Mansfield Elementary School, as part of its personnel report and recommendation by Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews.

"I have no doubt they will continue great progress at both of these institutions," Mathews said.

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

Cher currently is assistant principal at Eastside High, where he worked as a math teacher from 1998 to 2007 and assistant principal since 2009. He was assistant principal at Veterans Memorial Middle School from 2007 to 2009; he was the NCSS Teacher of the Year in 2006.

"Eastside High School has always been a special place," Cher said in a press release Wednesday. "As our world and community change, we will continue to grow towards excellence with a focus upon improving the rigor and relevance of learning. I look forward to serving our students, parents, staff and the entire Eastside family."

He holds a bachelor of science degree in secondary math education from Georgia Southwestern State University, a masters degree in secondary math from Piedmont College, a specialist in educational leadership from Argosy University and a leadership certification from the University of Georgia. He is a member of Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals.

DiNardo currently is assistant principal at Mansfield Elementary, a position she's held since 2010. She's been at NCSS since 1991, working as a teacher since 2002 until she began at the county's Reading Excellence Act Literacy Coach; she's also been assistant principal at Rocky Plains Elementary and Ficquett Elementary.

"We will continue to provide our students with quality learning experiences to promote the love of learning," she said in the press release.

She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, Mass., a master's degree in administration/supervision from Troy University, a reading specialist certification from West Georgia College, an education leadership certification from West Georgia College and a doctorate in educational leadership from Walden University. She is a member of the International Reading Association and PAGE.

The board has yet to announcement a replacement for Smith. Mathews said Tuesday that NCSS officials plan to conduct interview over the coming weeks and bring a recommendation to the school board in April.