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Search on for new Alcovy principal
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The position for Alcovy High School principal has been posted on the Newton County School System’s website, and individuals interested in applying have about a week and a half left to put in for the job.

Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews announced at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting the position for AHS principal would be posted on the school system’s website Wednesday, informing the public that the search was on for a new principal at the school.

Alcovy has experienced some tension during the school year following a drawn out civil lawsuit between the former principal and anonymous online commenters.

“We are certainly soliciting all the candidates for a very important job in our school system,” Mathews said to the board.
The position has an open date of Wednesday, March 20, and will close Friday, March 29, which allows interested applicants a 10-day time span to apply.

Though that time period may seem short, Nyree Sanders, director of human resources for NCSS, said 10 days is the typical timeframe for job postings at the school system. Mathews added the position would be posted again if the board was not satisfied with the candidates.

“Should we not be pleased with the pool of candidates, we can extend the application deadline,” Mathews said. “Or, should we interview and not be pleased with candidates, we can post the job again.”

According to the job posting, the new principal would report to the superintendent, deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction and the executive director for school improvement.

The new principal would be required to have an educational leadership certification as required by the Professional Standards Commission, a master’s degree or higher, a minimum of five years of successful teaching experience and three years of administrative experience.

The job description also has a running list of duties and performance responsibilities the new principal will have to adhere to, which are listed in several sections. Some of these include curriculum, assessment and instruction, data analysis, process involvement and learning and performance development.

A complete list of the duties for the new AHS principal can be found online at or by visiting the NCSS website.

According to the NCSS’s administrative procedures for screening and interviewing candidates for principal, screening normally takes place with the superintendent, deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction, deputy superintendent for operations, the executive director for school improvement and a human resources representative.

The top candidates, ideally no fewer than three and no more than seven, will go before the interview committee.

The interview committee, consisting of the superintendent, deputy superintendents, executive director for school improvement, human resources representative and representative members of the school council— one teacher and one parent at a minimum of the school in question — will interview the principal candidates.

The interview committee collaborates with the superintendent to decide the top candidate in an effort to reach a sufficient consensus of who the superintendent will recommend to the school board for appointment.

However, it is the superintendent’s ultimate decision to which candidate he or she will nominate.

The superintendent notifies the successful nominee and human resources contacts the other candidates.

Sanders said the pay range for the new principal will vary, depending on the candidate’s qualifications, which includes the candidate’s education and experience level.

However, she said at the high school level, the annual salary for a principal can range from $85,000 to $119,000.

Interviews for the position will be conducted in April. Sanders said the new principal will be recommended and appointed upon board approval, but won’t be expected to take on the position until the 2013-14 school year begins, which is July 1.

Being that Alcovy High School is in District 1 of the county, BOE District 1 representative Jeff Meadors expressed what he would like to see in the next principal of the high school.

“In my opinion, the new principal needs to be someone who advocates for teachers first and foremost and understands the relationship between school climate, achievement data, and the local economy,” Meadors said. “He or she can be curriculum experts and pedagogical gurus, but no one in the building gives a darn about any of that if they don’t feel supported, safe, and protected.

“It is time to support the many high quality teachers we have at Alcovy High and turn a beautiful building into a high-achieving school. It can be done if the hiring process is handled correctly.”

Vic Lee, who retired as principal from Liberty Middle School in June 2012, has been serving as interim principal for Alcovy High School since November 2012, when former principal LaQuanda Carpenter went on maternity leave. Lee will continue to serve as interim principal for AHS until the end of the 2012-13 school year, according to Sanders.

The school has had two principals so far since its opening in 2006. Dave Easterday served as the first principal of the high school until June 2009, when he announced his retirement after working with the Newton County School System for 32 years. Carpenter was hired to replace Easterday in July 2009.

Carpenter, who was on maternity leave from her position as AHS principal, elected not to return Feb. 4, as originally expected, as her husband, Dennis Carpenter, former deputy superintendent for operations for the NCSS, took a superintendent position in Kansas City, Mo., for the Hickman Mills C-1 School District.

Both Carpenters were released from their contracts with the Newton County School System, following a settlement agreement between them and the board of education, where the school system paid each of the Carpenters a lump sum payment of their regular salaries through May 31, including benefits, through June 30, a total of $68,508.98.