3 schools looking for new principals

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Principal positions have become open at three of the 15 schools in the Vicksburg Warren district — at Beechwood Elementary, Grove Street Alternative and Warren Central Intermediate — and applications are being accepted through Friday.

The openings were posted on the district’s website, www.vwsd.k12.ms.us, after 47 other retirements had been announced May 26 just before the last school Board of Trustees meeting.

Chris Perritt, principal at Beechwood for one year, said Tuesday that he resigned to accept a position as assistant principal at Madison Central High School in Madison County, where he and his family live.

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On Tuesday, it was unclear whether the other two — Kelvin Wymbs at Grove Street and Edward Wiggins at Warren Central Intermediate — retired or resigned.

Wymbs had been hired in July 2009, and Wiggins, a 34-year educator and former principal at Vicksburg Junior High School, had been employed by the district for six years.

Neither could be reached Tuesday or this morning.

Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Duran Swinford declined to discuss the resignations and retirements because they are personnel issues.

“If someone chooses to retire or resign, it is up to them,” she said. “We have not asked them to retire or resign. It is not administration-driven. There’s no bad blood between anyone.”

Board of Trustees President Zelmarine Murphy said the board had not received the official notices of the three departures.

“We have not officially been told, but I have heard through the grapevine that they have retired,” Murphy said by phone Tuesday. “They have written letters of resignation to the board, and those letters will be presented to the board in the next meeting. I assume they chose to do like everybody else — get out of Dodge. We don’t hold people by gun to their contracts.”

Perritt, 41, said his decision was based on his family.

“I wanted to be closer to my family,” said Perritt, whose wife, Michelle, is expecting their second child in November. “I had a wonderful year at a great school, and I think everybody is going to be happy with our test scores.”

He is a 14-year district veteran with four years as assistant principal at Warren Central High School, as well as experience as a social studies teacher and boys’ basketball coach.

To apply for the principal positions, educators may submit a letter of interest and a resume to Zena Keen, personnel administrator, via e-mail to zkeen@vwsd.org.

During the past school year, Beechwood enrolled 602 students in grades K-6, Warren Central Intermediate enrolled 593 students in grades 3-6 and Grove Street enrolled 250 students. The 2011-12 school year begins Aug. 8.

The school board meets next at 5:30 p.m. June 30 at the school district office on Mission 66.