• 64°

Henderson named TES interim principal

Troy Elementary School Principal Geoffry Spann will set aside his duties as principal next year to do a little traveling.

No, he isn't going anywhere exotic.

He'll be on loan to the State Department of Education to visit schools in Pike, Baldwin and Houston Counties to help implement the Alabama Reading Initiative program.

"Essentially, I'll be working with the principals, provide training, make site visits and help promote effective leadership," Spann said.

"The principal is the key to any school reform and I'll be mentoring and coaching the principals."

Spann will visit elementary schools who began using the ARI in 2000, helping them with ARI recertification.

He said the ARI office, which is linked to the State Department of Education, asked him to fill the position.

"I don't know why they asked me," Spann said.

"But I'm involved in our principal's organization as a district representative.

And I clearly don't hide my support of what the Reading Initiative has done."

As much as Spann is looking forward to next year's experience, he said he wouldn't have been so enthusiastic if his travels weren't so close to home.

While he is gone, vice principal Juan Henderson will pick up Spann's responsibilities.

"I am very confidant in Juan's abilities," Spann said.

"We have a wonderful situation here with three vice principals."

Spann said the administrators have always worked as a team and next year won't be any different.

"The team will remain intact," Spann said.

"Nothing we do is predicated on what I do, the routine has long been established.

In fact, I'm expecting and anticipating them to make improvements."

Not only will the team stay intact, but selecting from within helps the pay schedule remain intact, an important thing to note with school budgets stretched tight.

Troy City Schools Superintendent Hank Jones said Spann will remain on the payroll but that the state will reimburse his salary.

Of course, Henderson is already on the payroll and no changes will be made there.

Henderson is no greenie to TES or administration.

He has been a vice principal since 1997, only one year after Spann accepted his position as principal.

Before that, he taught fourth grade.

And long before that, he sat in Spann's sixth-grade classroom.

Spann said Henderson has the experience necessary to pick up his duties and was "the natural person to select."

"This will make me a better administrator," Spann said.

"It will certainly be advantageous for me and I'm looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience from other principals."