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More changes for Meridian schools

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 24, 2003
Many changes are taking place in the Meridian Public School District this year in what administrators say is an aggressive attempt to improve student achievement.
Many campuses will see changes in the fall some new faces, some familiar faces in different positions.
In total, the district has three new principals, five new assistant principals and Ross Collins Career and Technical Center has a new director and assistant director.
Ross Collins
Marcus Irby officially took over as director of Ross Collins Career and Technical Center July 1. He has spent the past three years as vice principal at Meridian High School.
Before coming to Meridian High School, Irby taught agricultural mechanics at Southeast Lauderdale High School. He replaced Wayne Eason, who took over as the dean of vocational instruction at East Central Community College.
Poplar Springs
Linda Dulaney said she is excited about her first year as principal of Poplar Springs Elementary School. She said she began to think about leaving her position as a teacher to become an administrator in recent years.
Before coming to Poplar Springs, Dulaney worked at West Lauderdale Elementary School for 16 years. For the past three years, she was a Success For All facilitator.
Dulaney said she feels fortunate to have stepped into such an organized school. She replaces Fred Brashier, who retired and later took a position at Lamar School.
West End
Owida Roberts took over as interim principal of West End Elementary School in February. She has officially been hired as principal at West End and she is ready to make improvements at the school.
Roberts said she believes that parental involvement is the key to student achievement and she wants to get the community, as well as parents, involved in the school.
Before coming to West End, Roberts taught English at Northwest Junior High School for two years. She replaces Judy Radcliff, who resigned in the midst of an investigation into possible misuse of federal funds. The investigation is ongoing.
Carver
Ralph McLangey is the new assistant principal at Carver Middle School. He is also new to the Meridian school district.
McLangey came from Brandon and recently completed his master's degree in school administration at the University of West Alabama. He was a teacher in Columbus for six years. He also taught in Jackson and Mobile, Ala. giving him a total of 10 years of teaching experience.
McLangey said he is looking forward to working at Carver.
He also said he feels confident that he and Earnest Ward the new principal will make a difference at the school and help students improve test scores.
Meridian High School
Meridian High School will see all new administrators this year, except for one vice principal, Sharrod Miller. Among the new assistant principals are Pat Ross and Vickie Hood.
Vickie Hood left Meridian to go to the New Albany School District, where she served as the special education coordinator, gifted coordinator and the district test coordinator. Last year, she was principal of New Albany Elementary School.
She also taught at Magnolia Middle School for two years and at Meridian High School for 12 years.
Hood replaces Marcus Irby, who took over as director of Ross Collins Career and Technical Center.
Pat Ross left his position as assistant principal at Northwest Junior High School to become assistant principal at Meridian High School.
Ross is also a former football and soccer coach, but he said he has no plans to coach right now.
Ross also said he is excited to work with R.D. Harris, the "new" principal at Meridian High School. Harris, a former deputy state superintendent of education, returns to Meridian High School this fall as its new principal a job he held from 1979-1993.
Ross replaces Cythia Pouncey, who became principal of Magnolia Middle School.

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