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Pearl principal comes to BHS

When Brookhaven High School students return for classes in thefall, a new leader will be there to guide them through their lastyears of high school.

Roy Balentine, 40, was hired Monday at the monthly meeting ofthe Brookhaven School District’s Board of Trustees.

Balentine, a native of Weir, brings several years of leadershipexperience to the school district.

His most recent position was principal at Pearl High School forthree years. He has also served as assistant principal at PearlJunior High School and assistant principal at New Hope MiddleSchool in Columbus.

Balentine taught elementary school for five years and was aninsurance claims adjuster for five and a half years.

School district officials are glad they were able to hiresomeone with such experience.

“We feel very lucky to have found and employed a gentleman ofthe caliber of Mr. Balentine,” said Superintendent Dr. SamBounds.

Officials added that having a high school principal who strivesto bring quality education to students is a bonus for thedistrict.

“I’m thrilled that he has the academic record at Pearl HighSchool that he does, and I look forward to us replicating andsurpassing that,” said Assistant Superintendent Lea Barrett.

Balentine said it was the academic record the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict has obtained that drew him to this area. He also notedbenefits of the addition of a state fine arts school toBrookhaven.

“I’m particularly excited about the performing arts schoolthat’s going to be here, and the opportunities it will offerstudents not only in Brookhaven, but throughout the state,” saidBalentine.

He is anxious to begin his newest challenge in the field ofeducation, and the construction and renovation at the high schoolis something Balentine hopes to get involved with soon.

“The first thing I’m looking forward to is the undertaking ofthe renovation project,” he said. “There’s a lot of exciting thingsabout to take place with that project.”

Balentine is also ready to instill some of his improvement ideasinto the district.

“Once we get through the renovation process, my goal is thatBrookhaven High School earn the highest accreditation rate in thestate,” he said.

The current accreditation rate for BHS is 3.2, with five beingthe highest possible rating. Balentine believes five is veryattainable at BHS because a tradition of excellence already existsat the school.

He plans to work closely with BHS teachers to “make sure thecurriculum is aligned with the tests given by the state.” The testsgiven to students annually determine the school’s accreditationrating.

Balentine also plans to improve student relationships at BHS.The construction project will help tremendously because of thepositive effect it will have on the students’ opinion about theirschool.

“Instilling pride among the students is very important and cango a long way,” he said.

Balentine and his wife, Shawn, are looking forward to moving toBrookhaven soon, and are looking to buy a house in the schooldistrict.

His wife is also experienced in the field of education as avocal instructor at the Power Academic and Performing Arts Complexin the Jackson Public Schools District. She will seek similaremployment in Brookhaven.

“She wants to continue to teach music and as soon as theopportunity avails itself she’ll be ready,” said Balentine.