THOMSON -- The McDuffie County school board named a new principal Thursday to replace the departing Rudy Falana.
Superintendent Jim LeBrun recommended that the board approve Cecil Strong, the principal of the McDuffie Achievement Center.
"I hope to continue the academic excellence and the athletic excellence" at Thomson High School, Strong said.
The board also named Aaron Hall head baseball coach. Hall, who served as an assistant under coach Jason Osborn, was recommended for the job by Osborn.
Strong said he and his wife, who is from Thomson and also teaches in McDuffie County, have four children.
"We have a vested interest in the community and don't plan on moving" he said.
"I'm already in the system, and that will help with the transition."
He said he plans to meet with Falana in the next few days.
"I'm going to pick his brain."
Osborn praised the board's selection of Hall to succeed him.
"He has a lot of contacts in the community," Osborn said in an interview Thursday with The McDuffie Mirror.
"I think over the last several years he's gained a good relationship with the kids."
In an unusual move, LeBrun recommended that the board approve athletic director Milan Turner as interim softball coach. The superintendent said he has not found a softball coach whose qualifications meet the open teaching positions he has.
He said Ty Poss, who is seeking certification as a community coach, would assist Turner. Poss cannot be considered for the head coaching position because he is not certified to teach.
Osborn, who resigned this year for family reasons, coached baseball and softball at Thomson for two years and led the Bulldogs baseball team to successive semifinal appearances in state tournament competition.