Warren named EA leader

Published 2:40 am Wednesday, June 6, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
Betty Warren has been a hot commodity since being added to the educational free agent list in mid-May.
Anyone who knows Warren knew that it would not take long for the beloved educator to be signed with another school.
Warren, 61, inked a deal with Escambia Academy Monday afternoon following an interview before school board members.
"We're blessed and thrilled to have someone with Betty's experience to become headmaster," chairman of the board of directors, Hooper Matthews III, said Tuesday afternoon. "She's been involved in teaching either at school academically or with tennis lessons on the tennis courts or swimming lessons at the swimming pool. It is great that someone like Ms. Warren, with the love that she has for our children, still wants to be involved with our children."
Warren announced her untimely retirement as principal of Huxford Elementary School on May 17. Warren taught, coached and worked in education administration with the Escambia County School System for 41 years and eight months.
Tuesday afternoon, the new job had not sunk in all the way with Warren.
"I'm excited," she said. "It's a great feeling any time you get a compliment from someone, it's fantastic. It's great that they have the confidence in me."
Matthews said that when the board learned of Warren's retirement and that she was not ready to "sit at home" they knew the window of opportunity was open.
"We had a good school year, but I feel she can really add to the curriculum of the school and help us continue to strive for progress academically," Matthews said. "I think she has the experience to lead us to the next level."
Former Escambia Academy headmaster, Leon Hartley, announced to the Academy's board members May 23 that he would be resigning from the school after one year of service.
"We had a good year, however, we always look to improve and build upon our accomplishments, both academically and athletically," Matthews said, in a previous statement.
Enrollment is one of the board's main focuses, according to Matthews.
"We always look to increase enrollment and identify and strengthen any areas of improvement that we may have," Matthews said.
Escambia Academy's current enrollment is 225 students. Matthews believes that having a headmaster with the experience and the love for the community that Warren possesses will only be an added plus in all facets at the school.
"There is no candidate out there that knows the community like Ms. Warren or can help in every aspect on the educational level from P.E. all the way up to administration," Matthews said.
Warren began her career in Marshall County where she taught at the DAR School for three years. She then began her nearly four-decade tenure with the Escambia County School System when she was hired on at Escambia County High School Division 9 &10, the first year of integration. She then moved on to Escambia County High School when the Division 9 &10 and Division 10 &11 schools merged to the current location.
Warren was later hired as assistant principal at Rachel Patterson Elementary School, followed by a stint as assistant principal at Escambia County Middle School. She was hired as principal of Huxford Elementary School in 1992.
As for Warren's plans for EA, she's remaining tight-lipped.
"I've got several ideas, but I'm not ready to discuss them at this time," she said. "Of course there will be some challenges, but I'm ready for a new adventure."
Warren will finish out her summer school obligations at Huxford, while making the transition to her new position.

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