FILE: Muscogee County School Board confirms new principals

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 5, 2012 

Seven people rejected by the Muscogee County School Board to fill school principal vacancies at a meeting in May were approved for those jobs at a special called meeting Thursday afternoon.

Two other principal positions were also filled.

"All's well that ends well," said Clara Davis, the new principal at Britt David Magnet Academy.

Davis, who worked last school term as assistant principal at Eagle Ridge Academy, was one of those rejected more than a month ago, an action she referred to as "disappointing."

"I always felt confident this would happen," Davis said of the approval. "There is a lot of work to get done."

Other principals appointed after being originally recommended by now retired Superintendent Susan Andrews were Cenobia Moore at Brewer Elementary School, Tammy Anderson at Cusseta Road Elementary School, Chris Cox at Double Churches Middle School, Gayla Childs at North Columbus Elementary School, Dawn Upshaw Grantham at Richards Middle School, and Shiann Williamson at Waddell Elementary School.

Recommended for the first time by interim Superintendent John Phillips Jr. and now in a new job are Jan Greene at Mathews Elementary School and Sheila "Precious" Evans at Wesley Heights Elementary School.

All the votes were unanimous except for one "no" vote on Grantham cast by Naomi Buckner.

Board member John Wells was not present.

Board member Pat Hugley Green asked for reconsideration of the candidates, saying at the meeting that "all my concerns have been addressed, all of my questions have been answered." Phillips, who brought the recommendations, said he reviewed the candidates with his cabinet as well as the process in which they were selected and thinks each is the "best fit for the job."

"I feel good about what we are doing," Phillips said. "It's not about John Phillips. It's not about Susan Andrews. It's about what is best for the community."

In May, all but one of the seven principal nominations was rejected by a 5-4 vote while Grantham was defeated by a 6-3 count.

Voting against all nominations in May were Green, Wells, Beth Harris, James Walker and Norene Marvets.

Mark Cantrell, Rob Varner and Cathy Williams voted to accept all candidates.

Buckner voted against Grantham but for all the others recommended.

Janet LaFortune's name for principal at Mathews Elementary was not brought up for a vote in May, although it was on the agenda at a work session the week before.

Andrews said at that meeting that she pulled LaFortune's name for the best interest of the candidate. Faculty and parents at Mathews were upset and vocal when Greene, the assistant principal, was not Andrews' choice.

"I look forward to getting started," Greene said. "I have just been overwhelmed by the support of family and faculty at Mathews."

She said with school just a month away there is a lot of work to be done.

"People at Mathews will rise to the occasion," Greene said.

Grantham, who has been principal at North Columbus Elementary School since 2006, called it a relief to finally get board approval and called the wait "kind of surreal."

Cox, who has been School Improvement Grant administrator in the Department of Academics, told the board, "I'm going to do what I have always done. I am going to work hard."

Moore, who is going to Brewer Elementary School from her job as assistant principal at South Columbus Elementary School, thanked the board and told members, "I plan to do an excellent job."

In other business, Amy Wohler was named Career, Technical and Agricultural Education supervisor at Jordan High School and Jacqueline Flakes was named shared assistant principal at Wesley Heights and Reese Road elementary schools.

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service