VWSD makes administrative changes

Published 1:44 pm Monday, June 15, 2015

Besides Warren Central Principal Jamie Creel’s departure from education, other administrative changes are taking place before the 2015–2016 school year begins.

Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent Chad Shealy said Otha Belcher, Jr. has been named the director of curriculum and technology, Leandrew Drake, Jr. is now the principal for Vicksburg Junior High and the district has interviewed candidates to find a new principal for Redwood Elementary School.

Shealy said moving Belcher from principal at Vicksburg Junior High to director of curriculum and technology was an obvious choice because of his unique skill-set.

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“I’ve never seen anybody more in tune to research,” he said.

Shealy said the school district has cut four positions, but has been able to create two new ones, including Belcher’s position.

“What he gets to do is make decisions on software and hardware that is going to impact student education and make sure we have a concise approach so we don’t have wasted funds and we’re buying the best types of things,” he said. “He works with testing, the curriculum, principals and with grants to make recommendations about what we’re going to do as far as technology goes.”

One of the most important aspects of Belcher’s new position will be providing technology training in the district, which research shows significantly increases the benefits of having the technology, Shealy said.

“As we start talking about a district that is moving toward technology integration quickly, we have to have somebody that has the capacity to go in and train the staff,” he said. “That is Belcher; that is one of his primary roles.”

Because of Belcher’s move to the central office, Drake will make the move back to Vicksburg Junior High School.

“Mr. Drake is an incredible leader,” he said. “He’s been here, and it was important to have a veteran leader there.”

Shealy said the success of the junior high schools is very important to the overall success of the school district.

“He’s actually got a history at Vicksburg Junior High, so when that came available he was very interested in it,” he said.

Shealy said in looking for Drake’s replacement at Redwood Elementary School, the Lighthouse Team — a group of leaders from within the school — is reviewing applicants.

Interviews were to have started last week.

“Hopefully we’ll be making that decision as soon as possible,” he said.