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Clydia Newell to be Porterdale Elementary principal
Clydia Newell

COVINGTON, Ga. - Clydia Newell will be the new principal at Porterdale Elementary School starting July 10. She was appointed by the Newton County School System (NCSS) Board of Education (BOE) during a special called meeting on June 12. Newell will fill the vacancy created when current principal Nikkita Warfield moves to the NCSS central office as director of secondary education.

“I am excited and honored to join the Porterdale Elementary School family,” Newell said in an email message. “I am eagerly anticipating getting to know the staff, students, and families I will serve. I am very passionate about providing a quality education for each student and I pledge 100 percent commitment to that task.”   

Newell holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education and has completed an education specialist degree in instructional leadership. This fall, she plans on completing a doctorate in educational leadership at Georgia Southern University. She has been a paraprofessional as well as a kindergarten, first, third, fourth and special education teacher. Since 2011, she has served as assistant principal at South Salem Elementary School.

“Ms. Newell is a collaborative leader who has been instrumental in creating a culture of high expectations,” Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, said. ”I am confident she will build on the success of the Porterdale Elementary team as they continue to work diligently to ensure students are provided high-quality 21st century educational experiences.”

In other action, the BOE appointed five assistant principals to start July 10. These include Vincent Byams, Newton High; Michael Chapple, Newton High; Shanta Mayes, Newton High; Gina Clark, Alcovy High; and Valerie Reed, Indian Creek Middle.

The BOE also approved a lease for commercial space currently occupied by Ombudsman. That space will house the RISE Academy which is the NCSS’s new alternative education program. The annual lease will run from Aug. 1 to July 31, 2018 at a total cost to the NCSS of $82,680.

Earlier this year the BOE decided to setup and operate its own alternative education program. In doing so it terminated its relationship with Ombudsman, an independent organization which had been contracted to provide alternative education opportunities for those NCSS students needing them.

Finally, the BOE approved the hiring of four new staff members and the transfer of four others for the 2016-2017 school year. It approved two retirements, 54 resignations, and one termination. For the 2017-2018 school year, the BOE approved the hiring of 42 new teachers, six paraprofessionals and three staff members as well as 10 transfers.

According to Nyree Sanders, director of human resources, the NCSS had nearly filled all of its vacant positions for the next school year. However, there has been a recent round of resignations as other school districts have filled positions with a few people hired away from the NCSS. Sanders indicated that was normal and the System will find people to fill its vacancies.