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Final school budget adopted for 2013-2014 year
New Peeks Chapel and CJ Hicks principals chosen
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UPDATE: Following an executive session, the school board approved Dr. Nadine Campbell as the new principal at CJ Hicks Elementary. John Martin was approved as the new principal at Peeks Chapel Elementary. Campbell is currently a principal in Bibb County and Martin, a Conyers resident, is an assistant principal at Davis Middle School.

The current Peeks Chapel Elementary principal, Tiwon Toney, will be the principal at Shoal Creek Elementary this coming school year. The previous SCE principal, Joseph Landerman, resigned at the end of the school year.

The current CJ Hicks Elementary principal, Sherrod Willaford, whose resignation is effective June 30, oversaw the application and transition of CJ Hicks to the International Baccalaureate Program. Williaford resigned to take a job as principal at a middle school in Fulton County. Willaford had started out his education career at RCPS teaching middle school grades.

"It is with a heavy heart that I request this release after serving the past seven years as principal of C.J. Hicks," wrote Willaford in his resignation letter. "I have grown much while serving this community and my ability to move forward is due to the success that we have accomplished together"


IN BRIEF: The school board passed the final budget of about $122 million for the 2013-2014 year in a 5-1 vote. Board member Sharon Pharr voted against. Board member Brad Smith was not present due to work at the Covington Fire Department, which responded to a drowning at Factory Shoals Park.

The modified school calendar of 170 student days, with eight furlough days for year-round staff and seven furlough days for school-year staff, was also adopted unanimously.

Board member Tony Dowdy read a statement before the vote. "No one likes the idea of funding tax rates, but in order to continue funding central services... We must make hard choices to continue the education of our children." He voted in favor of the budget, which will likely require a 1.5 mil increase in the school portion of the millage rate. The school portion of the property tax is currently 24.5 mils, the same as the year before that.

The budget is also based on an increased class size - by two students per teacher in middle school and by one student more per teacher in high school - and cuts the teacher allotments by 44.


In other school board business:

The school system was presented a certificate of partnership by the Clean Air Campaign. Brandon Clark and Leslie Carter of the Clean Air Campaign commended the participation of Rockdale County Public Schools.

"Transportation behavior changes can lead to improved air," said Carter.

Rockdale County is the first school system to have 100 percent participation, said Clark.