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Newton Schools testing director plans to leave this school year

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System will lose another top official this year to a school system in Missouri.

The Newton County Board of Education accepted the resignation of Dr. Carl Skinner, director of Testing, Research and Evaluation for NCSS since 2009, during Tuesday's work session.

Skinner, who has been with NCSS since 2002, submitted a letter of resignation to NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews on March 14, saying he accepted the position of deputy superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District in Kansas City, Mo.

In December, the Hickman Mills Board of Directors finalized an agreement with Dr. Dennis Carpenter, former deputy superintendent for Operations at NCSS, to begin as the district's new superintendent effective July 1. He began with NCSS in February 2008 and had applied for several superintendent positions around the country over the past few years.

The Kansas City district received provisional accreditation from the state in September and is seeking to regain full accreditation.

Although Carpenter originally planned to stay at NCSS until July, he and his wife LaQuanda Carpenter, who was principal at Alcovy High School since 2009, requested to be released from their contracts earlier this year.

The Newton County Board of Education paid them nearly $70,000 as part of a settlement agreement. It paid them a lump sum of their salaries until May 31, and NCSS is paying their shares of the health insurance premiums until June 30.

Skinner said his resignation will be effective July 1, 2013.

"I will, of course, fulfill the remaining portion of my contract and look forward to doing my best these next few months," he said in his resignation letter, which NCSS provided Wednesday. "Although I am excited about this new position, I cannot help but feel remorse, as I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure with Newton County Schools. I will forever be thankful to the community and fellow educators. I believe that the Newton County School System is moving in the right direction to educate our children, and I feel lucky to have been a small part for these past 11 years."

Skinner was assistant principal at Newton High School from 2002 to 2009. He's also worked in Hinesville, as well as in Arizona and South Carolina, since 1984.

The director position was posted Thursday.

Mathews also posted the open Alcovy High School principal position on Wednesday. The posting, which is available on the NCSS website, www.newtoncountyschools.org, will close March 29. The selected candidate would start the first day of the high school principals' contracts, unless NCSS decides to start them a week or two ahead of a normal schedule, Mathews said Thursday.

NCSS has yet to post the deputy superintendent for operations job. In February, Mathews said that he has indicated to the school board that the new superintendent should make the recommendation to fill that position or to reorganize departments. Mathews is scheduled to retire July 1.