New principals looking forward to school year

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009

As the new school year approaches, it’s not just students wholook forward with anticipation to what is in store.

Three area schools will be under new leadership, and all threenew principals said they’re ready to get things under way. Both theBrookhaven and Lincoln County school districts start classesThursday, Aug. 6.

Two of the new leaders are no strangers to their respectiveschool districts, while one comes in from the outside. But allthree bring fresh new ideas and big dreams for the future.

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Former Mamie Martin Elementary Assistant Principal Rob McCreary,who is taking Lorraine Carey’s principal position at Lipsey MiddleSchool after her retirement, said it still hasn’t completely hithim that he’s going to be running Lipsey in just a matter ofdays.

“It’s been kind of weird,” he said with a laugh. “I guess it’llsink in when I get that first check on Thursday.”

So far, McCreary said, his transition has been extremely smooth,with the assistance of his office staff, who have good-naturedlyhelped him over the speed bumps.

“I wouldn’t be sitting where I am now without Mrs. Carey, Mrs.Nell Coley and Mrs. Linda Davis,” he said. “They’ve really helpedget me acclimated to the new environment.”

But McCreary said he’s got a real sense of excitement as helooks forward to Lipsey’s future.

“I really see us growing together as a faculty with the kidsachieving even more, and I want us to be a school where the parentsare involved,” he said. “I want the kids and the parents to feellike this is their school, not just mine.”

McCreary has been in education for 15 years, and served asassistant principal at Mamie Martin for the last eight.

Former Lipsey Assistant Principal Kim Wand also retired at theend of last year. Her place will be filled by Brookhaven HighSchool special education teacher and assistant football coachTrevor Brister.

Meanwhile, Brookhaven Elementary School will have a familiarface at the helm as well, with former Assistant Principal DeloresGearing moving up to take the reins from previous principal PamFearn. Fearn retired last year after 30 years in the educationfield.

Gearing said she’s also excited about the upcoming year, andthat it’s an honor to be given the chance to have the wide span ofinfluence that a school principal holds. Education has always beenher love, she said, and she has always felt the need to make abetter world for teachers and their students.

“It’s stayed in me,” she said. “I went into administration tohelp reach others and to help more people instead of just what youcan do from inside the confines of the classroom.”

Gearing said she has thought toward the future with BES, and shewants to see continued positive momentum.

“It’s important to me that our students continue to receive ahigh quality education and their test scores will be able toreflect the education that they’re getting here,” she said.

Gearing was a fifth-grade teacher for 27 years and has been theassistant principal at BES for four years. She said she’s happy tohave a familiar group around her as she makes the transition.

“I’m excited to be working with such a great staff from the pastfour years,” she said. “This will be a challenge, but I know I’m upto it with God’s help.”

Replacing Gearing as assistant principal at BES will be MamieMartin lead teacher Sonya Foster. And McCreary’s currentappointment of assistant principal at Mamie Martin will be filledby BES math teacher Mike Farnham.

And down Highway 51 at Bogue Chitto Attendance Center, newprincipal Stacy Adcock said he’s excited about the close communityhe has become a part of.

“I really wanted to be in a small school atmosphere, and this isa really awesome opportunity,” he said.

The Winston County native comes to Bogue Chitto from the Clintonpublic schools, where he spent his last two years as the principalat Northside Elementary School. Before that, he was a part of theJackson Public School District, and he said the difference inenvironment was a great encouragement when looking toward themove.

“I love it that the community is so involved with the schoolhere,” he said. “They love Bogue Chitto, and this is a school witha good balance. It’s a true community school.”

Adcock and his wife Suzy, married 21 years, don’t have childrenof their own, but he said that’s one of the perks of education.

“I get the experience children of all ages,” he said with alaugh.

And he’s thinking long-term at Bogue Chitto, and he said that’sbased on a solid foundation laid by former principal BillMcGehee.

“Mr. McGehee has done a tremendous job with the school, and I’vegot big shoes to fill,” he said. “And the district leadership -(District Superintendent) Mr. (Terry) Brister has a great visionfor the district. I’m so glad to be able to come in here and servethis community and be a part of things.”