The Effingham County Board of Education voted Thursday to put Dr. Mark Winters in charge of both South Effingham High School and South Effingham Middle School.
Superintendent Randy Shearouse said Winters will be the active principal at both schools while the board searches for a principal for the middle school. Winters had been principal at SEMS before being selected to take over at SEHS.
“He was at South High for many years as an assistant principal,” Shearouse said of Winters. “He had experience there and being at the middle school for five years or so now he’s been at the middle school having the experience there being successful.”
“Dr. Winters really did a good job and had great programs when he was assistant principal at South (Effingham) High School. We felt like with everything, combined with his knowledge of the programs, with his knowledge of the kids, the faculty, that he’d be a perfect fit to come in and take over that school,” Shearouse said.
Board Chairman Lamar Allen said the board chose Winters because he was the most qualified person for the job.
“He’s a proven principal right now, so he pretty well knows the area down there,” Allen said. “We needed to move on to that school and get somebody in there because they have to hire teachers and whoever is principal needs to be in that position now to do that.”
He said Dan Noel, the former principal who had submitted his resignation earlier this month, decided to leave prior to the end of the school year.
“The week before we got out for Presidents Day, he decided it would be best for him to move on, I guess,” Allen said. “I really don’t want to focus on that because we need to get that school settled and get somebody in there. Not that anything’s wrong down there by any means, but you can always improve. Hopefully Dr. Winters can move in there being that he’s right there, and can move on in there and get things stable, so next year we can move on and he can get his teachers hired, and they can get familiar with him, because we still have a ways to go yet this year.”
Shearouse said it was important to have Winters in the high school to prepare for the upcoming school year.
“We felt it was important to go ahead and get Dr. Winters in place so that he could start running the school getting it ready not only to end the school year, but getting it ready to start next year,” he said. “There are so many decisions that have to be made by a high school principal in that time that we felt it was important to get him in place before letting it go on throughout the spring of the year.”