Passing the torch

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Former HES principal Donna Silcox welcomed newly named principal Greg Shehan to the Huxford community Friday. Shehan will take over at Huxford at the beginning of the spring semester in January.

Escambia County school board members approved the employment of a new principal for Huxford Elementary School Thursday to replace Donna Silcox who retired from the position last month.

Gregory L. Shehan will take over principal duties when school reconvenes after the holidays with full approval of the board.

“Mr. Shehan comes to us highly regarded and highly recommended,” Randall Little, interim-superintendent said. “He is community oriented and child/teacher centered.”

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Little said Shehan has experience in a leadership position in the field of education.

“He has served in a professional position in Conecuh County and in Monroe County,” Little said. “He served four and one-half years in administration and a year as principal at J.U. Blacksher.”

Shehan was among seven candidates who were hoping to land the position at Huxford Elementary, Little said.

“He presented himself well as a professional during the interview,” Little said. “I believe he will be an effective instructional leader for Huxford.”

Shehan himself said, while he will miss his school family in Uriah, he is excited about new opportunities at HES.

“I was tremendously honored to even be considered here,” Shehan said. “This a renownd school with a tremendous legacy. I’m very excited.”

After just a year as principal in Uriah Shehan will begin work in a community similar to what he has experienced in the past.

“There were some sad moments (at Uriah),” Shehan said. “We’ll miss it, but this was just a great opportunity for some professional growth.”

Shehan, a graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery, lives in close proximity to the school and will be available to students, parents and teachers of the school.

In other business, the board:

• approved criteria for the search for a permanent superintendent — avacancy created when William “Billy” Hines retired last month. The criteria will include a 30-day required posting for the position followed by an application review, scheduling and conducting of interviews, the selection and hiring process. The object will be to have a person in the position to begin work June 1, 2012 following the end of Little’s term as interim-superintendent, which ends May 28.

• awarded a bid for equipment for the Child Nutrition Program of the county to Dixie Store Fixtures and sales in the amount of $106,528;

• approved redistricting maps as presented by Attorney Kirk Garrett.

• presented a plaque of appreciation to former-chairman Mike Goolsby for his 11 years of service as chairman of the board. The presentation was made by in-coming chairman, Willie Grissette.

• approved personnel changes:

Leave of absence: Lisa McLaughlin, lunchroom worker at A.C. Moore Elementary effective Jan. 2 through April 28, 2012 Resignation: LaShonda Marshall, teacher aide at Rachel Patterson Elementary effective Dec. 1

Retirement: Sandra Culliver, teacher at Rachel Patterson Elementary School, effective June 1, 2012.

Transfer: Misty Joyner, instructional aide at W.S. Neal Middle School to office/instructional aide at W.S. Neal Elementary School, effective Jan. 3, 2012 replacing Lottie Cole; Lisa Sawyer, lunchroom worker at Flomaton High School to lunchroom worker at Escambia County High School, effective Jan. 3, 2012; Renee Cotton, lunchroom worker at W.S. Neal High School to lunchroom worker at Flomaton High School, effective Jan. 3, 2012; Mary Cannon, lunchroom worker at Escambia County High School to lunchroom worker at W.S. Neal High School, effective Jan. 3, 2012.

Employment: Cynthia Davis, kindergarten teacher at Flomaton Elementary School, effective Jan. 3, 2012 replacing Heather Johnson; Gregory L. Shehan, principal at Huxford Elementary School, effective Jan. 2, 2012, replacing Donna Silcox; Brian Stallworth, substitute teacher/site coordinator for Save the Children/21st Century Community Learning Center Program After-School Program at Rachel PattersonElementary School, effective Dec. 1; Escambia County High School “Real” 21st Century Community Learning Center teachers Andrea Chance and Teresa Parker.

Board members agreed to hold the Jan. 19, 2012 meeting of the group at Rachel Patterson Elementary School beginning at 4:30 p.m.