06/07/17 — WCPS announces administrative changes, including Goldsboro High School

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WCPS announces administrative changes, including Goldsboro High School

By John Joyce
Published in News on June 7, 2017 7:51 PM

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Goldsboro High School will again begin a new school year with a new principal come the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Among six administrative changes announced in a 5 p.m. press release today was the transfer of principal Robert Yelverton from GHS to the same position at Eastern Wayne Elementary.

The change marks the fourth transition in five years at the school's top administrative position.

Yelverton came to GHS in February 2016, from Northeast Elementary School, after then-principal Brian Weeks was transferred out.

Weeks had held the position for two years following the tenure of principal Tonya Faison. She left after the 2012-13 school year for a position in another school district.

Taking the reins for now at the historic-but-troubled school will be Marcia Manning, who came to the Wayne County Public Schools system last fall as its innovative-schools coordinator.

The release said her duties in that role included "training principals in school reform, education leadership, and academic best practices."

Manning will serve in an interim capacity as principal, the release said. A statement by WCPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Dunsmore included in the release went on to say that a national search would follow to find a permanent replacement for Yelverton.

"It is our strongest desire to see Goldsboro High become a high performing school for the students and the community," Dunsmore said in the statement.

"Mrs. Manning is the ideal candidate to lead Goldsboro High while we conduct a nationwide search for this position. Mrs. Manning is already familiar with the students and staff at the school. She also has a strong background in school reform and innovative schools, as a former state-wide facilitator with NC New Schools."

Earlier in the 2016-17 school year, Yelverton had been placed on administrative leave with pay for reasons still undisclosed.

That action, taken in November 2016, led more than 50 people -- parents and community leaders, mostly, who said they were there to lend support for Yelverton -- to attend a school board meeting to demand answers.

School officials declined at the time to comment on the matter citing personnel and privacy restrictions.

One community member called the "abrupt removal" of Yelverton -- uncertain to be temporary at the time -- part of a "pattern of inconsistency" regarding the school's leadership.

A statement later released by WCPS said that Yelverton had been suspended due to "disciplinary action," and explained the suspension would only last a week.

Wednesday's release made no mention of the prior disciplinary action when announcing Yelverton's transfer, and WCPS spokesperson Ken Derksen said via telephone he still could not comment on performance or disciplinary issues.

"This is an administrative decision Dr. Dunsmore has made," Derksen said.

He then reiterated that the school system's goal is to turn GHS, a historically low-performing school, into a high-performing one. That means putting someone in there who will help the school advance academically and who will elicit the best performance from both teachers and students, he said.

Derksen could not say one way or the other whether Manning would be considered among the nationally-solicited candidates for the permanent position as GHS principal.

The school system is already actively searching for a new principal for Southern Wayne High School. Dr. John Boldt, SWHS principal since 2008, announced his retirement earlier this year.

Other changes announced Wednesday include the transfer of Dillard Middle School Principal Sonja Emerson to the position of EC programs manager for the district's exceptional children's program.

Northwest Elementary principal Dr. Theresa Cox will move to Emerson's vacated position at Dillard.

Replacing Cox at Northwest will be Fremont STARS Elementary principal Sheila Wolfe, who in turn will be replaced by Eastern Wayne Elementary principal Kelly Langston.  And it will be Langston's vacated position that outgoing GHS principal Yelverton will fill.