Tamikia Billings named Beechwood principal Williams to remain interim head at Dana Road

Published 12:13 am Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tamikia Billings has been named the permanent principal of Beechwood Elementary School, Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford said.

Billings has filled the position in an interim role since former principal John Johnson was moved to the assistant principal’s position at Vicksburg Intermediate School Oct. 9, setting off a chain reaction of job shifting in the district.

“Ms. Billings’ highest priority, as is that of the Vicksburg Warren School District is the exceptional education of our students,” Swinford said in a statement. “We are excited to have Ms. Billings leading the way for Beechwood’s continued growth and encourage you to support the students, faculty and administration of Beechwood Elementary School as well as the entire Vicksburg Warren School District.”

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Dr. Gwen Reiber replaces Billings as the assistant principal at Warren Central High School, and Jessica Holly filled Reiber’s assistant principal position at Vicksburg Intermediate.

In addition to Billings’ hiring, Sherrie Williams will remain as the interim principal at Dana Road Elementary while the district continues advertising for the position. Williams is being considered for the permanent position, but because of her role directing Project SYNC, the board tabled her application to ensure that the district would not lose federal funding tied to Project SYNC.

The grant for Project SYNC, or Schools and Youth in a Networked Community, provides funds to address issues such as bullying, alcohol and drug prevention, drop-out prevention and teen-pregnancy prevention.

“We don’t want to lose the grant as much as we don’t want to hold her back,” Swinford said. “We want to make sure we do everything in compliance with the grant.”

Swinford said the district wanted to protect itself because of any federal legislation that might be tied to the grant funding.

“There are a couple of things we’re looking at before the board can approve her as an interim while we go through the advertising process,” Swinford said. “We’re just trying to work out the logistics with the grant. We have to take care of the grant.”

Antonio Cooper, who was hired in June 2011, will remain at Vicksburg Junior High School as interim principal until the end of the school year.

“That school had great grades, so he’s going to stay there interim,” Swinford said. “It’s a good opportunity for him to show us what he has.”

The moves were made in closed session late Thursday night at the VWSD Board of Trustees meeting.