Two administrators who have been serving as interim principals this year go forward as the official principals of their schools after approval Thursday by the Bulloch County Board of Education.
Contracts for 2017-18 for Jennifer Wade as principal at Mill Creek Elementary School and for Dr. Laurie Mascolo as principal of Portal Elementary School were awarded on the recommendation of Superintendent Charles Wilson.
"These ladies courageously and dutifully stepped up last year to serve as interim principal for their schools during uncertain and last-minute conditions," Wilson said, "and they led with the heart and values of our district in the face of those conditions."
Wilson appointed Wade interim principal of Mill Creek Elementary effective last July when he transferred the school's former principal, Patrick Hill, to Portal Middle High School, where Hill succeeded Dr. Karen Doty as principal upon her retirement.
After the resignation of Paul Hudson as Portal Elementary's principal in August because of a felony arrest, Wilson appointed Mascolo as that school's interim principal.
Near the conclusion of Thursday night's regular meeting, the board went into closed-door session to discuss personnel recommendations. Returning to public session, the board's vote was 6-0 on a motion to approve all of Wilson's recommendations as presented, with member Jay Cook abstaining and member Maurice Hill absent.
In addition to the chosen principals, there were five other candidates for the two principal slots, and three of the five interviewed for both positions, said Hayley Greene, the school system's public relations specialist.
Both new principals were assistant principals in the Bulloch County system before their interim principal appointments.
Mascolo served as Portal Elementary's assistant principal for almost four years. Beginning in October 2012 she was shared by two schools, serving part-time at Portal and part-time as a second assistant principal at Julia P. Bryant Elementary, but then was made the full-time assistant principal at Portal in July 2014.
Wade was an instructional coordinator for several years at Mill Creek and worked at the school system central office as a curriculum director for two years before one year as Sallie Zetterower Elementary School's assistant principal.
"We are very proud of them and to have them as part of our leadership team," Wilson said.
With other principals remaining at their schools, this leaves the top leadership post at Southeast Bulloch High School to be determined, since Principal Donna Clifton is retiring June 30 after 30 years as an educator. Wilson has said he hopes to have a recommendation for that job by April 13.