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Former student, teacher Woods to lead SES
Of the administrator moves, only one will be a newcomer to the Effingham County School System
Lisa Woods
Effingham County Middle School assistant principal Lisa Woods is "going back home" to Springfield Elementary as its principal for the 2015-16 school year. Woods attended SES through sixth grade and taught at the school for 16 years.

Lisa Woods attended Springfield Elementary School through sixth grade and dreamed of returning to the school as a teacher.

That dream came true, as she taught kindergarten at SES for 16 years before becoming the instructional supervisor at Sand Hill Elementary and then the assistant principal at Effingham County Middle School.

Woods will return again to Springfield Elementary for the 2015-16 school year, as its principal.

“When the principal position for Springfield posted, I started dreaming again, and I knew that this could be an opportunity to share what I have learned throughout the years and again work with the staff and the precious children who attend SES,” Woods said. “I am honored and deeply appreciative for the chance to be principal at Springfield. In a way, I am going back home.”

Woods will succeed Terri Johnson, who has accepted a new position as the Effingham County School System’s early learning/student support coordinator. Johnson was Springfield Elementary principal for nine years.

In her new role, Johnson will work with the pre-kindergarten staff, school principals and the county’s more than 500 pre-K students. Though she will primarily serve as the early learning coordinator, Johnson also will be involved with several other groups throughout the district.

“SES will always have a special place in my heart,” Johnson said.

The personnel moves approved by the Effingham County Board of Education last week also included Jeff Faith being named South Effingham High School’s athletic director. Faith is presently in his third year as the school’s assistant principal and the Freshman Academy administrator.

Current SEHS athletic director Travis Dickey will assume one of the two assistant principal positions at Effingham County Middle. He also will oversee the district’s summer school program at the Effingham College and Career Academy.

Dickey’s assistant principal position at ECMS is in addition to the one Woods will vacate. The board of education has budgeted adding a second assistant principal for each of the county’s three middle schools.

The additional assistant principals will enhance the day-to-day management of the schools, according to Superintendent Randy Shearouse. They also will be able to conduct some of the teacher evaluations and classroom visits that are required under the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System, he added.

“You want to make sure you keep your schools safe and instructionally sound at the same time,” Shearouse said.

Heather Strickland, a teacher at Ebenezer Middle School, will be promoted to assistant principal at EMS.

Both assistant principal spots at South Effingham Middle became available after Katie Johnson accepted an offer to be a principal in Emanuel County. Stepping into those new roles will be SEMS teacher Carla Dean and Marlow Elementary teacher Christy Brown.

Brett Martin, the operations director for the Screven County School System, will succeed retiring Jimmy Helmly as transportation director for Effingham schools.

A new principal for the Effingham College and Career Academy has not yet been selected. Current principal Travis Nesmith will succeed Judith Shuman, who is retiring, as the school district’s curriculum coordinator.

With the exception of Martin’s move from Screven County, all the personnel changes involved teachers and administrators already working in the Effingham County School System.

“We have a lot of great people here,” Shearouse said. “Certainly you feel more at ease and comfortable with hiring folks who have done a really good job for you here in the district.”