SP Principals Hired

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Principals hired, announced at SP

By Rupert Howell

New Albany High School principal Jay Foster, and an elementary school principal and district test coordinator from Water Valley, Carol Gary, have been hired as school principals for South Panola High and Batesville Middle School respectively.

School board trustees approved the hirings at a called meeting Friday afternoon during their annual tour of schools in the district.

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Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer said 25 applied for the two positions that were advertised throughout the state. Shaffer told trustees that he, Deputy Superintendent Jeremiah Burks and Director of Federal Programs Dr. Dolores Barnett interviewed 12 of the top applicants before deciding on three of the top candidates for each position.

Shaffer described each of the finalists as “solid” and told board members that the first one on each list accepted the position.

Board members approved the recommendations unanimously after a short discussion and questions.

Foster is presently in the doctoral program at the University of Mississippi and Gary will graduate with her doctoral degree later this month.

Foster has been principal in New Albany for the past  seven years and has also taught in Oxford and North Pontotoc.

“He’s worked his way up the ladder,” Shaffer told trustees.

The 37-year-old high school principal will begin his new job officially July 1. His wife is also an educator and they have three school age children.

Gary has taught in Oxford in addition to Water Valley, according to Shaffer, who told trustees she will be involved with restructuring the Middle School as the school has been under “academic watch” for the past few years.

She will follow Mrs. Willie Chapman who announced her retirement earlier this spring. Foster will replace Dr. Mat Dillon who is leaving to be principal at Pearl High School.