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Whatley welcomes new NCSS administrators, staff
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 Newton County School System Superintendent Steven Whatley welcomed the district's new administrators and central office staff at a reception before Tuesday night's Board of Education work session.

"As is tradition here," Whatley said. "We put the new people on the spot."

Each person new to the district or in a new position briefly introduced him or herself to the other attendants.

New principals are Wendy Hughes, Livingston Elementary; Ericka Anderson, West Newton Elementary; and Gabriel Burnette, Sharp Learning Center.

New assistant principals are Shari Thomas, Fairview Elementary; Shawn Wells, Middle Ridge Elementary; Charles Price, Rocky Plains Elementary; Allison Jackson, West Newton Elementary; Romonda Springs, Clements Middle; Jeff Cher, Veterans Memorial Middle; Debbie Stephens, Alcovy High; and Pam Carter, Sharp Learning Center.

Those new to the Central Office are Stephanie Hart and Alan Satterfield.

From the transportation department are Director Charles Brasher and Assistant Director Randall Luna.

Jan Loomans is the new school nutrition director.

"We hope you'll continue to do your absolute best," Whatley said, "because that's what our kids deserve."

Other news from Tuesday night's meeting includes:

• The most recent NCSS enrollment report shows the system having 1,462 more students than August of 2006. Total enrollment now stands at 19,144.

• Parents can now view their child's attendance, grades and discipline by logging onto the StudentTrack program located on the homepage of their school's Web site.

• The Newton High School FFA recently received National 2-Star Chapter status. This is the second highest ranking an FFA chapter can receive in national competition. Last year the chapter was rated in the top 10 percent in the state.

• Cathy Stubbs, NCSS director of special education, was informed recently by the Georgia Department of Education that the department meets requirements of part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) for the 2005-2006 school year. Meeting these requirements ensures financial assistance from the state for the program.

• The Special Education Adaptive Physical Education Department recently received a $250 donation from AT&T for the purchase of "beep ball" equipment for use by visually impaired students. The foam balls emit a high-pitched beeping sound, making them easier for visually impaired students to locate.

• The Board will soon advertise for proposals outlining a comprehensive custodial cleaning program that will include cleaning chemicals, extensive training for custodial staff and custodial equipment and repair. Plans to let a construction contract for the new middle school opening in 2009 are scheduled for early fall.