For the first time in 10 months, Statesboro High School has a permanent principal.
On Thursday evening, the Bulloch County Board of Education approved a recommendation from Superintendent Charles Wilson, which he made during an executive session, that Dr. Ken LeCain be named principal of the school system's largest school.
LeCain had been interim principal since May 9, when the former principal, Dr. Marty Waters, was placed on administrative leave, and later resigned, after being charged with failure to report child abuse, a misdemeanor. That charge was filed after two former assistant coaches had been charged with engaging in sexual misconduct with two female students.
The charge against Waters was dismissed in February after Bulloch County Solicitor-General Joey Cowart told Bulloch County State Judge Gary Mikell that there was not enough evidence to earn a conviction.
"I believe that Dr. LeCain is having and will continue to have a sustainable, positive impact on student learning at Statesboro High School," Wilson said in a news release issued Thursday night, after the board meeting. "We have already seen indications of that in the school's culture and the staff's morale."
LeCain said in the news release that he feels the school is making positive strides in several areas, including student achievement.
"Our dedicated faculty and staff have kept learning on the forefront," he said. "In short, as I told my son when dropping him off at college, you must keep the main thing the main thing. I feel our teachers and administrators have done and are doing an admirable job of daily focusing on the main thing."
Jeffrey Tyler Crowder, 25, was sentenced to serve 15 months in a probation detention center, 10 years of probation and $3,000 plus surcharges in fines after he pleaded guilty in February to a felony sexual assault by a person of authority.
Luke Edward Parks, 26, of Jesup, was also arrested in April, but has not yet been indicted on charges of felony sexual exploitation of children and sexual assault, Police have said his case is not linked to Crowder's.
LeCain has served Statesboro High in several capacities since 1991, including assistant principal and athletic director. His leadership was recognized twice by his regional athletic director peers. In August 2013, the Georgia High School Association awarded SHS the 2013 Region 3-AAAA Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award for the exemplary sportsmanship of its coaches and athletes. In 2011, he received both the region and state GHSA Athletic Director of the Year Award.
"I reflect back to when Statesboro High's former principal, Dale Wilkinson, took a chance on a young man and gave me a chance in administration," LeCain said. "I will be eternally grateful for his guidance and for the confidence he showed in me over the years."
LeCain understands the daily challenges that must be addressed as the state's education model is changing.
"One can easily imagine the momentous job of having more than 1,500 students walk through the door on a daily basis; however, as a team of educators, we are forging ahead in our endeavor to do all we can for each of our students," he said.
Wilson said the school system is fortunate to have LeCain in its leadership ranks.
"I am pleased to name him as principal," Wilson said.
LeCain received his bachelor's, master's and specialist degrees from Georgia Southern University. He received his doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.