COVINGTON, Ga. - By unanimous vote, the Newton County Board of Education approved the appointment of two new principals Tuesday evening. Dr. Ryan James will serve as the new principal for Rocky Plains Elementary School and Dr. Kristopher Williams will take the helm at Alcovy High School for the 2019-2020 school year. Both men currently serve as assistant principals in the district.
“We conducted several interviews for each of our two principal vacancies and it is always exciting when the top candidate is someone from within,” Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, said. “To have not one but two sitting assistant principals selected for principalship positions shows the depth we have in our pool of administrators as we have worked diligently to grow our own leaders.”
James earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Savannah State University and a master of arts in middle grades education from Armstrong Atlantic State University, also in Savannah. He obtained his leadership certification from Mercer University, Atlanta, and completed all the requirements for his doctorate of education in educational leadership at Argosy University Atlanta.
James is currently the middle school assistant principal at Newton County Theme School, where he has served as the testing coordinator, professional learning facilitator, safety administrator and more. Prior to his transfer to the Newton County Theme School in 2018, James served as an assistant principal at Live Oak Elementary School for five years, where his major duties included Title I administrator, Pre-K Director, PBIS Administrator, RTI Administrator, Bus Transportation Administrator, Parental Involvement Coordinator and Stakeholder Communication and Outreach coordinator.
James began his career in education as a teacher at St. Paul Christian Academy for Boys and later Bartlett Middle School, both in Savannah. James also served as an eighth-grade physical science teacher at Stone Mountain Middle School in the DeKalb County School System for seven years before joining the Newton County School System team. James has extensive leadership experience and is excited to begin this new opportunity as the educational leader at Rocky Plains Elementary School. He will replace departing principal, Miranda Jones, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
“It is an honor and a pleasure to serve as principal of Rocky Plains Elementary School,” James said. “I believe that educators have the power to change the direction of young lives and have a positive effect on the lives of future generations. As principal, I am ultimately responsible for the learning, safety, and emotional growth of our students and teachers. As we work together, we will aim to operate in excellence and ensure that we are preparing students to be well rounded and prepared for the future. My goal is to provide a positive environment that emphasizes student achievement and lifelong learning. I look forward to serving the Rocky Plains Elementary School community!”
Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and a Master of Education in Business Education from the University of West Georgia, Carrollton. He earned his education specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia and holds a doctorate of education in educational leadership, also from Liberty University.
Williams is currently an assistant principal and Ninth Grade Academy Principal at Alcovy High School. During his tenure at Alcovy High School, Dr. Williams has rebranded the athletic department, increased visibility for the school utilizing social media, increased athletic scholarships and worked to help increase both ACT and SAT scores and the school’s graduation rate.
Williams began his educational career as a business education teacher with the City Schools of Decatur before joining the Newton County School System team as a technology teacher at Clements and Liberty Middle Schools. While serving as a teacher at Liberty Middle School, Williams gained valuable leadership experience by serving as the assistant student affairs administrator, director of the after-school activity program and 21st Century Afterschool program, and assistant testing coordinator. Dr. Williams was promoted to assistant principal of Alcovy High School in 2014 and has served in that capacity ever since. He will replace departing principal, Dr. Sandra Owens, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
“First and foremost I would like to say that it is an honor and privilege to be named the new principal of Alcovy High School,” Williams said. “I look forward to building upon the solid foundation that Dr. Owens has built over the past six year. Academically, I would like to have students show growth, progress, and improvement. In terms of student life, I would like to have more students involved in sports, clubs, and organizations. I want everyone inside of the building to be proud to be an Alcovy Tiger.”
“I am confident that both Dr. James and Dr. Williams will continue the culture of high expectations at Rocky Plains and Alcovy and I am sure that their knowledge, care, and commitment will lead to continued student and staff success at both schools,” Fuhrey said.