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Pike schools shuffle staff

Voluntary transfers will affect the administrative staffs of three Pike County schools in the school year 2011-12.

At its Monday night meeting, the Pike County Board of Education approved the voluntary transfer of Pike County High School Principal Dr. Mike Hall to the Banks Schools and that of Pike County Elementary School Principal Willie Wright to the helm of Pike County High School.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said the voluntary transfers are positive all the way around for everyone and all the schools.

“Dr. Mark Head has been the principal of the Banks Schools for about five years and, when he was named administrative assistant for prevention and support at the Central Office, Dr. Hall expressed an interest in the principal’s position at the Banks Schools,” Bazzell said. “The Banks Schools have two campuses, the primary school with grades kindergarten through third grade and the middle school with grades four through eight.

“Dr. Hall has been principal at Ariton and G.W. Long in Skipperville, so he has experience on the primary and high school levels. The principal’s position at the Banks Schools will be a good fit for him.”

Wright had severed as assistant principal at Pike County High School for five years prior to assuming the position of principal at Pike County Elementary School this school year.

“Mr. Wright will be going back to Pike County High School as principal and he is doing a good job of learning the curriculum,” Bazzell said. “He is good with the students and parents.

“These voluntary transfers will allow us to maximize the experience that our folks have.”

Hall has been in school administration for 13 years and said those years include all three levels – elementary, middle and high school – at Charles Henderson Middle School, Ariton, G.W. Long and Pike County High School.

“Six years is a long time to be principal at one school and, although these years have been a very positive experience, I was looking for an opportunity to work with a different age group,” Hall said. “I had talked with Dr. Bazzell about the possibility of going to Banks School if the opportunity came about. The opportunity came and Dr. Bazzell granted my request. I’m excited about going to Banks and look forward to it. I have some big shoes to fill following Mark Head and Ken Bynum. But the teacher turnover at the Banks Schools is very low and that says a lot about the teachers there so I will be going into an excellent school situation.”

Wright said the transfer is bittersweet in that this year at Pike County Elementary School has been one of the best years he has ever had.

“We have a great staff here at PCES,” he said. “They are hard working and really care about the kids. But I also enjoy working with the older kids to help resurrect their lives and move them in the right direction by showing them how important an education is. I’m looking forward to being back at Pike County High School.”

Bazzell said the transfers will become effective June 13 and advertising for a principal for Pike County Elementary School will begin soon.