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NHS Principal David resigns
Asst. Principal John Ellenberg will be interim principal
Assistant Principal John Ellenberg will be interim principal, taking over for Eclan David, who has resigned. - photo by Submitted Photo

Newton High School principal Eclan David has resigned and an assistant principal has been named as acting principal at the high school for the remainder of the school year.

A news release from the Newton County School System Tuesday announced that David had resigned as principal for the school effective immediately. In a letter to Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey, David said his resignation was due to "personal reasons," the news release said.

Fuhrey met with faculty and staff at Newton High School Tuesday and promised her full attention would be focused on the welfare and forward progress of Newton High School, the release said.

John Ellenberg, an assistant principal at Newton High School, was named interim principal for the remainder of the school year, the school posted on its Facebook page and a news release said.

In addition, Fuhrey announced that Newton High School English teacher Ryan Norman has been selected to replace Ellenberg as interim assistant principal.

"I want to assure the Newton High School community that it is my goal to appoint the very best leader for Newton High School," Fuhrey said in the release. "It is important to the students, to their parents, to the staff, and to the school and school system’s ultimate success."

Tuesday afternoon, the Newton County School System released a letter of resignation from former principal David, which was dated for Jan. 27. It read as follows:

"Mrs. Fuhrey, This letter is to inform you that I hereby tender my resignation effective immediately due to personal reasons. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the students of Newton High School. I enjoyed being a servant to the students and the community and will greatly miss the bonds that I have created. I know that Newton High will continue to rise to great heights. Again, thank you for the opportunity. Sincerely, Eclan David Jr."

Fuhrey said David officially resigned Monday evening. She said NHS faculty and staff were notified of David’s resignation at a 7:45 a.m. meeting.

"The response of the Newton High School team demonstrates great respect, support, and commitment to Mr. Ellenberg as he transitions to his new role," Fuhrey said.

In making the swift decision to name both an interim principal and assistant principal, Fuhrey said, "We considered the sense of urgency and the need for stability and consistency at Newton High School. Mr. Ellenberg and Dr. Norman both possess the institutional knowledge and experience to ensure continued progress and achievements at Newton High School."

Fuhrey said positions for a new principal at the high school will be posted in the near future.

David, a former Griffin-Spalding County middle-school principal, was named the new principal of NHS after a unanimous vote by the Newton County Board of Education at a July board meeting. He replaced Craig Lockhart, who was appointed deputy superintendent of schools for the district.

In an email, Lockhart said the school system is thankful for David’s service to Newton High.

"While his departure was sudden, we support his decision and wish his family and him the very best," Lockhart wrote.

"Despite this transition, we are very happy to welcome Mr. John Ellenberg as interim principal. Mr. Ellenberg is a beloved Newton High School faculty member, and his staff and students have already shown overwhelming support. We look forward to seeing the prosperity of Newton High School in the coming months."

David has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.; an M.Ed. degree in educational administration and leadership from the University of West Georgia; and is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational administration and policy from the University of Georgia.

An email sent to David Tuesday was not responded to before press time.

Resignation letter