|Thursday, February 23, 2006|
Walton in as superintendent
Holly Springs school board trustee Micheal Crittle announced Friday the appointment of Irene Walton as interim superintendent of the city school district and the suspension of prior superintendent Dr. Cynthia Gentry, who just came on board in September 2005.
Gentry has 10 days from the day of suspension to file a request for a formal due-process hearing, Crittle said.
Gentry has been stripped of all duties and suspended with pay pending her request for due process, Crittle said.
Walton was serving as principal of Holly Springs Intermediate School prior to taking the new appointment.
As interim superintendent, she will reevaluate recent position reassignments in the school district made by Gentry and report to the board of trustees on whether she believes the reassignments are in the right place, Crittle said. Walton will also have authority to choose the Intermediate School principal, he said.
Eileen Dowsing accepted the position of acting principal at the Intermediate School, Walton said.
Emphasizing she is only interim superintendent while the school board of trustees fills the position, Walton said she took the task in order for the district to keep moving forward.
Our priority is student achievement, she said, noting that high school subject area testing comes up at the end of April and grades two through eight will take the Mississippi Curriculum Test the first week in May.
Walton said she wants the students to be able to stay focused on their class work.
From 1990 until 2004, Walton served as elementary education teacher at Holly Springs Intermediate School. From 1998 until 2004 she was assistant principal and in 2004 Walton was appointed principal of the school.
She is a graduate of Rust College, holding a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. Walton holds a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction and in educational leadership, and a Specialist of Education in educational leadership from Ole Miss.
She is president of the board of directors at Ida B. Wells Museum and was chairperson of the Marshall County Spelling Bee this year.
Gentrys suspension follows on the heels of sweeping mid-level administrative changes she made in January, which included moving Lonnie Williams Sr. from assistant seventh/eighth grade principal to central office; advancement of Wonso Hayes, technology discovery teacher, into the assistant principal post at the high school; and replacement of Adam Andrews as high school principal with John Chase. Andrews was moved into Chases position as executive director of operations.
Andrews served just over one semester as high school principal after being named to the position in May 2005 to replace outgoing principal Dorsey Patterson, who retired.
Gentry was chosen just five months ago to replace Judy Smith, who retired as superintendent last summer.
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