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New LCMS leaders meet community Tuesday
PTO hosting reception
Left to right, Dr. Eric Carlyle, Kareem Epps, Ed.D. and Keith Wright are the new principal and assistant principals at Langston Chapel Middle School.

Langston Chapel Middle School’s PTO is inviting parents and others in the community to meet and greet new LCMS Principal Dr. Eric Carlyle and the school’s two new assistant principals between 4:30 and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Carlyle began his work as Langston Chapel Middle School’s new principal July 1. Joining him in the school’s administrative team are assistant principals Dr. Kareem Epps and Keith Wright. The Parent Teacher Organization is hosting the reception as an opportunity for people to hear remarks from Carlyle and get to know the school’s new leaders before the start of classes Aug. 1, according to a Bulloch County Schools news release. Light refreshments will be served.

“I look forward to the opportunity to meet with Langston Chapel staff, parents and community stakeholders to learn more about what they desire and expect from me and better understand what they want to present in their school,” Carlyle said in the announcement.


New principal

An educator for more than 24 years, Eric Carlyle, Ph.D., has more than 18 years of experience in various district and school-level administrator roles in Fulton, Gwinnett, Spalding, Clayton, Bibb, and Emanuel counties. He has eight years of experience as a middle school principal.

Originally from Twin City, Carlyle received his high school diploma from Emanuel County Institute and then attended Georgia Southern University, where he played football and attained a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and a master’s degree in middle grades education. He received his specialist degree in educational leadership from Columbus State University, and his doctorate in public policy from Walden University.


Assistant principals

Kareem Epps, Ed.D., is an educator with 14 years of experience, three of those as an administrator. He has served in DeKalb and Chatham counties, and he previously served as an assistant principal at Statesboro High School for two years before briefly serving as an administrator overseas.

Epps received a bachelor’s degree in computer science technology from Savannah State University.  He went on to attain a master’s degree in middle grades math and science from Armstrong Atlantic State University, which is now the Savannah campus of Georgia Southern University. His specialist and doctoral degrees in educational leadership are from Argosy University in Atlanta.


Keith Wright

Keith Wright has more than 20 years of experience working with children in both the private and public sector. After 18 years with the AMIkids organization, he decided to apply his experience in the field of public education. He served as a counselor with Bryan County Schools at both the middle and high school levels, and later became an assistant principal and athletic director for both Bryan County Middle School and Bryan County High School.  He has also served as the vice president for the Region 2-AA Athletic Directors for the past two years.


Wright holds a specialist’s degree from Georgia Southern University in educational leadership and two master’s degrees in counselor education and education leadership. He also holds professional educator certifications in educational leadership and school counseling.


Follows controversy

Langston Chapel Middle is the only school in the Bulloch County system with a new principal this summer. The Board of Education hired Carlyle in early June on the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson. This followed Wilson’s reassignment of previous LCMS Principal Dr. Evelyn B. Gamble-Hilton to fill an assistant principal vacancy at Southeast Bulloch High School.

The transfer of Gamble-Hilton to an assistant principal role after her eight years as LCMS principal drew protests from community members as well as from Gamble-Hilton herself, through an attorney. However, her salary was maintained at the same rate she would have received as a principal. Gamble-Hilton reported to work at Southeast Bulloch High on Monday, July 2, and afterward, Hayley Greene, Bulloch County Schools public relations specialist, confirmed in answer to a question from the Statesboro Herald.

Some community leaders who opposed Gamble-Hilton’s transfer have nonetheless welcomed Carlyle.

“I want to wish Dr. Carlyle well in leading the Langston Chapel Middle School, and I pray that he has a leadership meeting to bring all of them together as a team at Langston Chapel Middle School, and I hope he feels at home here and is an asset to Bulloch County,” Pearl Brown, president of the Bulloch County Branch of the NAACP, said during a June 14 Board of Education meeting.

“He seems highly qualified, as are many others that have attended the job fair here in Statesboro and have applied for jobs here and are not hired or not promoted,” she said. “So I just pray that he will find favor here and that he will be able to do the job that he has been selected for.”

Epps and Wright are filling the jobs vacated by previous LCMS Assistant Principal Sandra Kirby and Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Randy Cooper. 

Kirby transferred to Mattie Lively Elementary School to replace that school’s assistant principal, who retired this year. Cooper resigned from the Bulloch County Schools.

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