News 12 at 11 / Thursday, May 29, 2014
It was a relatively quick and painless process from an all-agreeable board at the Thursday night meeting.
Two new principals stood to applause as the board appointed Dr. Brenda Taylor to be the next principal at Laney High School and Isaac Lee to head up Josey.
"I know it's a challenge. It's a big challenge. Dr. Wiggins has set the bar. I plan to take the bar even higher," Lee said.
"I'm excited about being selected and I'm ready to get started," Taylor said.
Dr. Taylor takes over for Tonia Mason who resigned from Laney last month. She comes with nine years experience as principal first at Craig Houghton, then at Willis Foreman Elementary. As she graduates on to high school, so will some of her former students.
"The students that were in fifth grade when I left Craig Houghton are going to be freshman this year at Laney," Taylor said.
Isaac Lee spent the past two years as Assistant Principal at Josey. Now he will take Dr. Ron Wiggins' seat.
"Just glad the board decided to give me this opportunity. I embrace it, and I'm up for the challenge," he said.
They're new principals, but they inherit some old problems, one of them being test scores. Last year, only one student passed the AP test at Laney, putting pressure on the board to find the perfect candidates.
"Oh I think it was critical," board member Jack Padgett said. "Even some of the better high schools were under the 19% that passed."
As Taylor and Lee move up, board members are hoping those test scores will too.
"I think both of these high schools need to move toward progress," Padgett said. "Maybe some new blood will inspire them."
Both of these positions were open after resignations. The board is still waiting on Josey's principal, Dr.Ron Wiggins' official resignation letter. He's taking a job in another county, so they're just waiting on the final paper.
With Dr. Taylor leaving Willis Foreman, that leaves a position open there. Padgett said they'll start advertising and interviewing for that position hopefully Friday or Monday. He says they hope to find someone by their first regular meeting in June.