Shuffling principals will affect 17 schools

Richmond County schools Superintendent Dana Bedden wants to replace principals in 17 schools next year, including four high schools and C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School.

At a special-called meeting today, the school board will consider personnel changes that would be a shake-up and a shuffle, not a house cleaning. Member Alex Howard said that, to his knowledge, principals are being moved or retiring, not being fired.

For example, Academy of Richmond County Principal David Robbins is retiring, and Westside High School Principal Tim Spivey is being recommended to take his place.

Tubman Middle Principal Wayne Frazier, whose school will become an "educational center" next year, is being recommended to head Glenn Hills High, where Principal Jessie Chambers is retiring.

Dr. Bedden is recommending that Tonethia Beasley become principal of Laney High. Formerly principal of Murphey Middle, Ms. Beasley was transferred to Collins Elementary after an internal investigation into underreporting of discipline problems at Murphey.

Mr. Howard said he's not aware of any principals being hired from the outside. The recommendations appear to be about making the best use of the system's best talent, he said.

"We don't have a lot of people trying to get jobs here," he said. "I'm excited. This is the future of the Richmond County school system, and we're expecting good things from these people."

Dr. Bedden, who didn't return a phone call Tuesday, said last week that these would be the most changes he has asked for at once since taking the helm in August 2007.

Other principal recommendations include:

- Debbie Alexander, Westside High

- Wade White, Hephzibah Middle

- Victoria Reese, Langford Middle

- Nathan Benedict, Tutt Middle

- Glenda Collingsworth, (new) Pine Hill Middle

- Renee Kelly, C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet

- Thomas Norris, Collins K-8 School

- Ruby Stewart, Hornsby/East Augusta K-8 School

- Ny McRae, Diamond Lakes Elementary

- Malinda Cobb, Goshen Elementary

- Chris Neal, Gracewood Elementary

- Beverly Hite, Meadowbrook Elementary

- Velma Curtis, Wheeless Road Elementary

- Cheryl Fry, Willis Foreman Elementary

- Debbie Shepherd, Alternative Learning Center

Other recommendations:

- Janie Norris to continue as acting principal of Jenkins-White Elementary

- Charles Givens as assistant principal of Hornsby/East Augusta K-8 School

- Director of Transportation Mike Shinn to the Maintenance and Facilities Department

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

IF YOU GO

The special meeting today is open to the public and begins at 11 a.m. at the school board offices, 864 Broad St. For more on the meeting, go to the board's Web site at www. rcboe.org.