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New NCSS personnel director named
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The Newton County Board of Education approved a replacement for Associate Superintendent for Personnel Donald Dunnigan, who is transferring to another district, at Tuesday night's board meeting.

Dennis Carpenter, formerly assistant superintendent for support services of Appling County Schools, has accepted the position.

"We indeed look forward to the employment of Dennis Carpenter as associate superintendent for human resources pending his release from Appling County Schools," said Sherri Viniard, NCSS director of public relations, in a press statement.

Carpenter holds an educational specialist's degree in educational leadership from Georgia Southern University, where he is currently enrolled working on his doctorate in educational leadership.

He began his career in education in 1996 as a fourth grade teacher for Burke County Schools.

From 1999 to 2005 he served as an assistant principal the Screven County School System and then as principal of Stilson Elementary School in Bulloch County.

Carpenter has received several awards including Phi Beta Sigma Savannah Chapter 2007 Educator of the Year, Screven County Friend of Council for Exceptional Children Award, Screven County Middle School Apple Award, Screven County Middle School SMILE Mentoring Program Outstanding Support Award, Riverside Publishing CRCT Development Certificate of Appreciation and the Georgia Southern University Minority Leadership Award.

"Mr. Carpenter is an intelligent, enthusiastic educator with the administrative and leadership ability to manage the human resources division," Viniard said. "His professional knowledge and competencies and personal characteristics will enable him to lead us in the recruitment, employment and retention of a competent staff."

In other news from Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting:

• Each middle school in the county will hold informational meetings in March to discuss new graduation rules with parents of eighth graders. All middle school graduation coaches will be present at the meetings.

• All county high schools have started providing remediation/test preparation sessions for the Georgia High School Graduation Exam before and after school and on Saturdays. Alcovy High will also offer computer credit recovery sessions on Saturdays through March. The cost of the Alcovy sessions is $30, half of which will be refunded upon completion of the program.

• Several Newton County students placed at the Griffin Regional Education Service Area Literacy Days Contest. Kimberly Stiers, of Cousins Middle School, won first place in sixth-grade poetry recitation and Destiny McKnight of Veterans Memorial Middle won first place in the eighth-grade poetry competition.

 Cousins Middle School student Mary Lathem placed second in the seventh-grade ready writing contest, and Clements Middle students Kristen Adaway and Stephanie Lightsey were awarded third place honors in the sixth and eighth grade competitions.

 Veterans Memorial Middle's seventh grade drama team earned a third place award.