Coweta County Schools
Five new principals chosen by BOE
by Rebecca Leftwich
Five new principals were named by the Coweta County Board of Education Tuesday, and board members found their future leadership right in their own back yards.
Three of the five already are in place as assistant principals at the schools they will be leading next year. Bill Harrison will succeed Dr. Therese Reddekopp at Northgate High School, where he also is athletic director; Chase Puckett will step into Dr. Doug Moore’s role at Newnan High School and Dr. Cindy Bennett will replace Dr. Bob Heaberlin at Lee Middle School.
Reddekopp and Moore will move to system-wide administration at the end of the school year, Reddekopp as director of Instructional Services and Moore as director of Operations and School Safety. Heaberlin is retiring, along with Dr. Cheryl Sanborn of White Oak Elementary School and Dr. Patti Faulk of Arbor Springs Elementary School.
The school board selected successors for Sanborn and Faulk from among its ranks as well, tapping Andy Clark – an assistant principal at Arnall Middle School – to head White Oak and Dr. Julie Durrance – an assistant principal at Thomas Crossroads Elementary School – to lead Arbor Springs.
Coweta Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker credits the school system’s Leadership Academy program for giving potential administrators the training they need to become leaders in Coweta schools.
“For a long time, Coweta County has made a concentrated effort to develop teachers, leaders and administrators,” Barker said at Tuesday’s board of education meeting, where the new crop of principals was chosen during executive session following a regular monthly business meeting. “We have a long-standing tradition to grow and train leaders for the future.”
Harrison is a 25-year educator who taught in Troup County schools before joining the Newnan High staff as a special education teacher in 1999. An assistant principal at Northgate since 2001, Harrison earned his BA in special education at Troy State University, his master’s in leadership at the State University of West Georgia (now University of West Georgia), and his leadership specialist degree at Troy State University.
Puckett began his career with Screven County schools in 1998 and was named 2004-05 Georgia Teacher of the Year. He became assistant principal at Madras Middle School in 2007 and moved into the same position at Newnan High in 2008.
At Georgia Southern University, Puckett earned his BA in middle grades education. His leadership specialist degree is from Nova Southeastern University.
Bennett began teaching at Oak Mountain Academy in Carrollton in 1996, entering the Coweta County School System in 1997 as an eighth grade teacher at Northgate Middle School. She was an eighth grade teacher at Madras Middle School from 1998-2006, when she became an assistant principal at Arbor Springs. She moved to Lee in 2008.
After earning her BA and master’s in middle grades education at the then-State University of West Georgia, Bennett earned specialist and doctorate degrees in leadership from Argosy University.
Clark began his career as a school counselor in Okaloosa County, Florida, in 1998 and became Northgate’s counselor in 2003. He served as assistant principal at Northgate from 2004-2008, moving to Arnall in 2008.
Holder of a BA in criminal justice and a master’s in school counseling from Troy State University, Clark earned his education leadership specialist degree from the University of West Florida.
Durrance taught in Department of Defense schools from 1987-1989, becoming an English teacher at Northgate High School in 2001 and an assistant principal at Thomas Crossroads in 2008. She holds both bachelor and master’s degrees in English from Auburn University and earned leadership specialist and doctorate degrees from Samford University.