St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School's has a new leader for its lower school.
Jocelyn Smith has been promoted from assistant principal to interim principal for the 2015-16 school year, St. Anne-Pacelli announced Monday. She replaces Gayla Arrington, who resigned Wednesday to do "what was best for her family," according to the school's news release.
No assistant principal to succeed Smith has been appointed.
The Rev. Jeremiah McCarthy, pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church, explained Saturday in an email to the school's faculty, staff and families why Smith was chosen after serving as the school's assistant principal for one year.
" Mrs. Smith has demonstrated her leadership abilities at St. Anne-Pacelli, and has used her bilingual skills to help our school's culture grow in diversity," McCarthy said. "I have every confidence that she has your full support and prayers moving forward. I am truly grateful to Mrs. Smith for her readiness and willingness to accept this position."
In the email, the release said, McCarthy "also expressed heartfelt gratitude to Mrs. Arrington" for the four years she spent as principal.
According to St. Anne-Pacelli communications director Jennifer Sillitto, Smith received a Catholic education at Our Lady of Good Counsel and Dominican Academy in New York City, then a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish art and literature from Fordham University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Mercy College and a specialist’s degree in educational leadership from Columbus State University. She taught first and second grades in the New York City Department of Education from 2002-09 before moving to the Muscogee County School District, where she taught kindergarten at Cusseta Road Elementary School from 2009-10 and was a Title I intervention specialist from 2010 until she joined the St. Anne-Pacelli administration July 1, 2014.