Atkinson, Ruth Hill Principals named

Thu, 05/10/2007 - 4:50pm
By: The Citizen

Atkinson, Ruth Hill Principals named

The Coweta County Board of Education approved two new principal and two new assistant principals for the 2007-08 school year, at their May 8 meeting.

Melissa Wimbish was named the new principal of Atkinson Elementary School, beginning in July. Wimbish, who is currently an assistant principal at Evans Middle School, will replace Vince Bass, who was earlier named the upcoming principal of Evans Middle. Wimbish is a 14-year educator. She taught for five years in Meriwether County Schools before coming to Coweta County in 1998 as a teacher at Ruth Hill Elementary. From 2003 to the present she has worked as the assistant principal at Evans. Wimbish earned her Bachelor’s degree from Fort Valley State College, and earned her Masters and Education Specialist degrees from Troy State University.

The Board also named Valerie Mathura the new principal of Ruth Hill Elementary School. Mathura, currently the assistant principal at Grantville Elementary School, will replace Betty Smith, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Mathura taught in Clayton County Schools for six years before coming to Coweta County in 1987, as a teacher at Elm Street Elementary. From 1988 to 1994 Mathura taught at Ruth Hill Elementary, and from 1994 to 2004 she taught at Jefferson Parkway Elementary. In 2004 she became an assistant principal at Grantville. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Lee College at Cleveland Tennessee and her Masters degree at the State University of West Georgia.

The Board also named two assistant principal positions. Jena Martin, currently a 4th grade teacher at Willis Road Elementary School, was named assistant principal at Eastside Elementary School. Martin taught at Fairmount Elementary (1988 to 1991), Central Middle School (1991-94), and Jefferson Parkway (1994-97) before moving to Colorado, where she taught from 1997-2004. Martin returned in 2005 to Coweta County, and has taught at Willis Road since that time. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Georgia Southern, her Masters degree at the University of Georgia, and her Specialist degree at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Chase Puckett, currently an AP English teacher at Screvin County High School, will join the Coweta County School System as an assistant principal at Madras Middle School. Puckett was honored as the Teacher of the Year for the state of Georgia in 2005. He previously taught at Screvin County Middle school from 1998 to 2004, before serving as Teacher of the Year and returning to teach at Screvin County High. Puckett earned his Bachelor’s degree and Masters degree at Georgia Southern University, his Education Specialist degree at Nova Southeastern University, and his Education Leadership certificate at Georgia Southern University.

Puckett will join Lorraine Johnson at Madras Middle School when Johnson becomes principal of the school in July. Johnson served as the Georgia State Teacher of the year in 2003, meaning that Madras will have two former state Teachers of the Year as administrators.

Three of the four administrative positions were filled with current Coweta County School System employees, and the system has begun a search to fill any vacated positions, as well as other outstanding assistant principal positions. The appointment of Wimbish and Mathura have filled all principal positions currently open in the school system.

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