CHIEF CITES SEVERAL REASONS FOR SHAKEUP
By Denise Dick
The school year just started for the city district, but there’s already a shake- up within the administration.
Two principals, Wanda Clark of Williamson Elementary School and Artemus Scissum of P. Ross Berry Eighth and Ninth Grade Academy, have been removed from their posts.
Superintendent Connie Hathorn said that Scissum has been moved to an assistant principal position at East High School.
“I’ve been saying I didn’t want any hiccups when school started, and there were kids [at Berry] who didn’t have their schedules, and things were just not going as I’d expected,” Hathorn said.
Scissum’s salary at East will be $68,226. He was to make about $75,000 as Berry principal.
“That’s a very important school,” Hathorn said. “We need to improve the graduation rate and decrease the dropout rate. I didn’t want to wait until it got any worse, so I pulled the plug.”
He called it a situation of leadership.
“It just wasn’t working out,” the superintendent said.
Cinthia Christoff, formerly an assistant at East, has been moved into the principal post at Berry and will earn $75,496 this year.
“With Wanda Clark, her [principal] certificate has expired,” Hathorn said.
The certificate expired June 30 and Clark didn’t get it renewed. Principal certificates expire every five years.
Hathorn said Clark can apply for renewal, but the Williamson position has been filled with Dorothy Davis, formerly an assistant principal at University Project Learning Center. Davis will earn $83,088 annually in the Williamson slot.
Clark has been moved to a guidance counselor position at UPLC where she’ll be paid $63,727 this year. Her principal salary was to be $74,937 this year.
Lock P. Beachum Sr., school board president, said the moves are administrative decisions.
“We have confidence in Dr. Hathorn that this is what he had to do for better efficiency and for the best operation of the school,” Beachum said.