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Meridian campuses see big changes

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 17, 2003
While Meridian searches for a new superintendent to take over the school district, changes also are taking place at individual schools.
The Meridian Public School District is shifting many of its leaders around and bringing in new ones in an attempt to improve test scores and teacher effectiveness.
The district has three new principals, five new assistant principals and Ross Collins Career and Technical Center has a new director and assistant director.
Cythia Pouncey will begin the next school year as principal of Magnolia Middle School. She has served as assistant principal at Meridian High School for the four years.
Pouncey also spent a year as assistant director at Ross Collins Career and Vocational Teacher, and from 1975-1998, she taught everything from kindergarten to eighth-grade algebra.
Earnest O. Ward will begin this year as the new principal at Carver Middle School.
He comes to Meridian from the Piney Woods School a private boarding school in Rankin County, where he served as superintendent and principal for 28 years.
Ward said he wanted make a change to public schools and he saw there was an opening at Carver.
Ward said it is important that students at Carver understand that they can learn and they will learn.
Sylvia Autry, interim superintendent, said the new principal at Meridian High School will be announced soon.
The former principal, James Bounds, began his new position as administrative assistant on special assignment to the superintendent Tuesday.
Assistant principals
Jonas Crenshaw Jr. said he has always dreamed of being an educational leader. He will begin his career as an administrator as the new assistant principal at Magnolia Middle School.
Crenshaw has spent the past two years teaching U.S. history and advanced placement U.S. history at Meridian High School.
At MHS, he also served as a senior class adviser, was involved with the extended day tutorial program and served on the "What Works" work group a group of teachers and administrators that evaluated existing programs in the district.
Shannon Miller has been named the new assistant principal at Northwest Middle School. She returned to Meridian from Lee County, where she was assistant principal of Verona Junior High School.
Her husband, Sherrod, is assistant principal at MHS.
Miller said her goals at Northwest are to work closely with Curt Pouncey, the principal, to develop a strong curriculum and improve teacher effectiveness.
Ralph McLangey will take over Monday as assistant principal at Carver Middle School. Langley is new to Meridian School District and has not yet arrived in town.
Lisa Barfield plans to bring some elementary school-style enthusiasm to her new job as assistant director at Ross Collins Career and Vocational Center.
Barfield taught at West End Elementary for 11 years and was the facilitator of the Success For All program at Harris Upper Elementary for the past five years.
She said her goals at Ross Collins next year are to meet the needs of the students, advertise the program more, get more students interested in vocational careers and encourage community involvement at the school.