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Lockhart, Buff move to district roles
Fuhrey wants to fill NHS vacancies quickly
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Two top administration positions at Newton High School are vacant after the Newton County Board of Education unanimously approved NHS Principal Craig Lockhart as deputy superintendent of schools, and Assistant Principal Shannon Buff as the director of secondary curriculum, instruction and professional development for the Newton County School System.

At its Tuesday board meeting, the BOE approved the personnel recommendations after an executive session, leaving two administrative positions open at the high school. NHS is in the process of relocating to its new building before the start of the new school year in August.

Lockhart, who had been principal at Newton High since 2010, said he is honored to have the opportunity to work as deputy superintendent of schools, but that it is bittersweet and painful to leave the high school.

“In leaving Newton High … that is like a child to me,” he said Tuesday after the meeting. “Newton High is a wonderful place, it’s a special place. I will always be a Ram, and I will always be right there to help support the efforts at that school.”

In a letter emailed to NHS employees, administration and staff on Wednesday, Lockhart echoed those sentiments.

“This promotion comes with mixed feelings for me. Whereas I am very excited about working on efforts that enhance the entire county’s public educational system, I grieve the loss of no longer being the principal of Newton High School. These students have become like my very own children, and I love the faculty and staff as if they are my kin. You have been a blessing to me, and I deeply respect you all,” he wrote.

The NHS principal’s position was posted to the NCSS website on Wednesday, and the application period will close July 7. New NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey said the school system hopes to fill the position as quickly as possible. 

Lockhart also commented on finding his replacement and said he is looking forward to working with the school system.

“You can rest assured that we will make sure that the very best leadership is in place to continue that movement forward,” Lockhart said.

“I have a direct interest in the economic prosperity of Newton County, and I feel that the public education system is a major contributing factor to our economic success. With Mrs. Fuhrey’s leadership, I’m confident that we’re going to make the Newton County School System one of the best in the state.”

NHS Assistant Principal Shannon Buff said she was excited to work as the new director of secondary curriculum, instruction and professional development for the NCSS.

Buff, whose entire education career has been at Newton High School, also said leaving the high school is bittersweet, though she is looking forward to her new role.

“I have a lot of teachers I have taught with … but once a Ram, always a Ram,” she said.

“I’ve student-taught here, I’ve taught here, I was a department chair here, and then I went into leadership here,” Buff said. “I’m very, very committed to education here in Newton County, (and) I look forward to moving forward.”

Fuhrey said Buff’s former position as assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at NHS also has been posted to the NCSS website. The closing date to apply is also July 7.

Lockhart and Buff will begin their new jobs July 1.

“I am very excited about the opportunities for us to work together as a team,’’ Fuhrey said. “We’ve got a great leadership team in the central office and a great leadership team among our school leaders, and our teachers will benefit greatly from the seamless transition and the continued movement toward the same goals that we’ve been working on for the past three years.

“They’ll actually have the opportunity to work on those things over the next several years,” Fuhrey said.

Resumes for Lockhart and Buff can be found at