When students walk through the doors to their school Aug. 1, some will meet new principals. But the principals know Bulloch County Schools well.
Four current Bulloch County school principals will be at different schools:
- Dr. Shawn Haralson, from Portal Middle High to Langston Chapel Elementary;
- Dr. Karen Doty, from Langston Chapel Elementary to Portal Middle High;
- Julie Blackmar, from Nevils Elementary to Julia P. Bryant Elementary; and
- Nate Pennington, from Julia P. to Nevils.
"The school system is fortunate to have a strong school-level leadership team from which to draw," Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson said.
Wilson decided to make the organizational changes after reviewing and matching the skills of the school system's principals to the needs of the district's 15 schools and their students.
Haralson has been the Portal Middle High principal for the past three years. Before that, he was the principal of Julia P., the principal of Nevils and a teacher at Southeast Bulloch Middle. He has been an educator for 18 years, with 13 of those in Bulloch County.
Doty has been the principal of Langston Chapel Elementary for the past 10 years. She previously was the principal of Nevils, an assistant principal at Nevils and a teacher at the former Marvin Pittman School on Georgia Southern University's campus. She has been an educator for 29 years, including 26 in Bulloch County.
Pennington has been the principal of Julia P. for the past three years. Before that, he was an assistant principal there and a teacher at Brooklet Elementary. He has been an educator for 17 years, all of them in Bulloch County.
Blackmar has been the principal of Nevils for the past seven years. She previously was an assistant principal at Southeast Bulloch Middle, assistant principal at Brooklet Elementary and a teacher at Brooklet. She has been an educator for 18 years, including 14 in Bulloch County.
Since becoming superintendent in July 2012, Wilson has worked to put in place a strategic plan to guide the school system. To accomplish the plan's goals, he has taken steps to transition the district from a top-down management style to one that is more employee-empowered and student-centered, in which innovation and collaboration are encouraged.
"Each of these instructional leaders will bring their strengths to their new faculty and help them work within this new model," Wilson said.
Wilson announced the changes to the Board of Education during an executive session meeting March 27; however, because all of the changes are intrasystem transfers, they do not require a vote by the Board of Education. The principals informed their faculty March 28.
Toward the end of the 2012-13 school year, several principal changes also were made. Some of those were set in motion when Dr. Trey Robertson resigned as Southeast Bulloch High School principal at the end of last school year to become an assistant superintendent in Bryan county.
Wilson moved Donna Clifton from Southeast Bulloch Middle to the high school, and named Milton Williams, then the middle school's assistant principal, as interim principal for the 2013-14 school year. When the school board approved Williams as interim principal last spring, the district announced that a permanent principal would be named for the middle school in time for the 2014-15 school year.
Hayley G. Greene, the district's public relations and marketing specialist, said Thursday that the system is receiving applications for the Southeast Bulloch Middle principal's position.
"It is the superintendent's goal to find the right leader for the position prior to the beginning of the school year," she said.
Other moves Wilson made last year, which took effect with the current 2013-14 school year, were:
- Jennifer Quick, then the principal of Mattie Lively Elementary, was granted a request to return to teaching;
- Todd Williford, the principal of Sallie Zetterower Elementary, moved to Mattie Lively; and
- Julie Mizell, an assistant principal at Statesboro High School, became principal of Sallie Z.
Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.