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School board approves new principals

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Education has selected two new principals to replace outgoing principals at Heard-Mixon Elementary School and Liberty Middle School.

The school board recently approved Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews' appointment of Marquita Wilkins as the new principal of Heard-Mixon Elementary and Keisa Taylor as the new principal of Liberty Middle School.

"We look forward to the outstanding performance," Mathews said at the meeting. "We know they will do very well."

Wilkins, who is assistant principal at Heard-Mixon, has served as acting principal at the school since April 30, upon the promotion of former Principal Lee Peck, who is now executive director for School Improvement at NCSS.

Wilkins has 18 years of experience in education inclusive of the last four as assistant principal of Heard-Mixon. Previously, she worked for three years as an instructional coach at Heard-Mixon.

She has 10 years classroom teaching experience, Mathews said.

Wilkins holds a bachelor of science degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southwestern University and a master of science degree and educational specialist degree in Elementary Education from Troy State University. Additionally, she has a reading endorsement from Georgia Southwestern University and a certificate in Educational Leadership from the University of West Georgia.

Taylor, who is currently assistant principal at Flint Hill Elementary School, will replace outgoing Liberty Principal Vic Lee, who announced in April that he will retire June 30, after 37 years in public education.

Taylor has 12 years of experience in education inclusive of the last six as assistant principal split between Flint Hill and Palmer Stone elementary schools and Veterans Memorial Middle. She also worked for two years as assistant principal of Jasper County Middle School and was a middle school teacher for four years at Henderson Middle School in Butts County.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in Middle Grades Education from Mercer University, a masters of science degree in Management and Administration of Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University and an Educational Specialist degree from Argosy University.

"Both candidates are student-centered, very skilled, well trained and capable of leading-for-learning in our school system and come highly recommended by their past supervisors," Mathews said. "I look forward to their successful service as principals in NCSS."

In March, Mansfield Elementary School Principal G.W. Davis, Newton County Theme School Principal Ruth Anne Smith and Eastside High School Principal Dennis Roddenberry announced that they also will retire at the end of the school year. All of their positions have been filled with current NCSS employees.