Pike County Schools names new principal, assistant principal at GHS

Published 2:30 pm Monday, July 17, 2023

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There are new leaders at Goshen High School as Pike County Schools recently announced the hiring of new principal Bennie Shellhouse and new assistant principal Marjorie Lane.

Lane is no stranger to the Town of Goshen, having grown up there and graduated from GHS in 2006. Lane graduated from Alabama State University with a bachelor’s degree and a double master’s. After spending time in the Montgomery, Selma and Enterprise school systems, she became an assistant principal at Charles Henderson High School. Now, though, she says she’s coming home.

“I talked to my dad about it for awhile and even before I even came to Charles Henderson, I would have loved to have come back home but they didn’t have an opening for that position then,” Lane recalled. “This time, they called me twice and I said, ‘You know what, I’m going down to meet with the (administration)’ and I was just ready to come home and lead. They need that Goshen pride back, so I was overly excited to take this opportunity.”

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Lane said that she couldn’t thank the leaders she’s learned from at Charles Henderson enough and she’ll take those lessons with her to Goshen.

“I’ve learned so much from (CHHS Principal Lise) Fayson and I will take everything I’ve learned from (CHHS) and hopefully one day be able to run my own school,” she said. “Being at Troy City (Schools) was a great stepping stone for me. And to be able to be one of the first alumni to come back home and be a leader (in administration) is something I’m so grateful for.”

Lane’s father, Major Lane, spent more than two decades at Goshen as an assistant principal, basketball coach and principal.

“It feels so good to be walking in his footsteps,” Lane said of her father. “That’s what I thank God for the most, to be able to come back home and lead where my father was once a leader for so long. That was emotional for me, to be able to come back and say my daddy was an assistant principal and principal here and now I am, too.”

Lane is also the first African-American female to ever be hired as an assistant principal or principal at Goshen High. Lane already has some of her goals for her alma mater in mind.

“My first goal is to make sure these students know they are loved and that they are welcome here, but we also want to change the atmosphere here,” she insisted. “When I was here everyone in the community came together and we want to build that community involvement back, that’s a top priority. We want to make the students feel as if they have something to look forward to every day.”

Shellhouse, a native of Eufuala, is no stranger to Pike County either, having graduated from Troy University. He also earned a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama.

“I had some great mentors when I was younger that were teachers and I think that was my calling,” Shellhouse said of getting into teaching.

He started his teaching career at Straughn High School and spent eight years there before spending the next 19 years at Andalusia High School. He’s served as a teacher, coach, transportation director, assistant principal and administrative assistant to superintendent. Now, he can add principal to his resume.

“It was a great opportunity for me, I was looking to get into the principal world,” Shellhouse said of his decision to come to Goshen. “I want to move my career up and eventually be in a superintendent job somewhere and this was one of those stepping stones.”

Shellhouse and Lane’s only connection before landing in the administration at Goshen together is Shellhouse’s familiarity with Lane’s father. Shellhouse served as a boys basketball coach at Straughn and coached against Major Lane. Like Marjorie Lane, Shellhouse talks about wanting to bring back pride in GHS.

“I want to instill some pride into the school,” he emphasized. “We want to work on building a culture of excellence and helping to increase both teacher rand student morale at our school.”