Members of the McDuffie Board of Education approved personnel recommendations at their June meeting and implemented a few new positions/transfers to fill vacant positions without stretching an already thin budget.
School system Comptroller Tom Smalley said many of the transfers did not involve a pay raise; however, many of them included more contract days. Some did include additional compensation for additional duties involved.
Neal Tam, former assistant principal of Thomson-McDuffie Junior High School, was named the new principal of Thomson-McDuffie Middle School. Mr. Tam will replace Steve Rhodes, former principal of TMJH, who has taken a job in Columbia County, and Claude Powell, former principal of Thomson Middle School, who retired the end of May. The middle school and junior high school will be combined next year, except ninth graders will go to Thomson High School.
Superintendent Jim LeBrun said Mr. Tam was chosen by a selection team that included other principals, Central Office personnel, some Teachers of the Year and Mr. LeBrun. He did not say how many applicants there were.
"Each applicant was graded by points based on their interview, experience and credentials. The decision was unanimous across the board that Mr. Tam was the best for the job," Supt. LeBrun said.
Former Thomson Middle School Assistant Principal LaTasha Johnson was promoted to human resource director in the Central Offices.
Other positions were created to handle responsibilities formerly handled by Assistant Superintendent in Administrative Services Jim Franklin and Assistant Superintendent in Curriculum and Instruction Barry O'Neil. Dr. Franklin and Dr. O'Neil retired the end of May.
Those new titles include: Mychele Rhodes - federal programs director to director of curriculum and instruction, Butch Blount - transportation supervisor to transportation director, Charles Hurst - maintenance supervisor to maintenance director, Brenda Dewitt - human resource secretary to human resource coordinator, and David Morton - nutrition technology specialist to school nutrition director.
Other transfers include: Cindy McCorkle - student information support specialist in Central Office, Jackie Morris - payroll specialist in business department, Edith Smith - secretary in transportation department, Catherine Cowins - receptionist in student services department, Carolyn Story - receptionist/ HR secretary in Central Office, and Tinye Harding - student information coordinator.