Though LaDonna Turrentine is leaving the school where she said she spent the best eight years of her life, she is excited for the challenge that comes with taking the lead at Coosa High School.
Turrentine departs Johnson Elementary to become the high school’s principal on July 1, after the Floyd County Board of Education approved the move during Tuesday’s called board meeting. She replaces outgoing Principal Trevor Hubbard, who is set to become the building and grounds facilitator for the system, also effective July 1.
The educator of 23 years, 20 of which with Floyd County Schools, said she had a sense that her journey at Johnson had been completed and decided to throw her hat in the ring for filling the principal vacancy. However, she took time with her friends to talk over the decision, to make sure her heart was in the right place, she said.
By trying for the position, Turrentine said, she wasn’t losing anything, since if she didn’t get it, she would still have her Johnson Elementary family to come back to. But in getting the job, she walks away from the school where she first became a principal.
Turrentine said she sent a “truly heartfelt” email to Johnson faculty concerning her departure, sharing just how much they meant to her experience there and how she will take what she’s learned from them to “improve and be excellent” at Coosa High.
Turrentine relayed Johnson’s motto of “Love Blue, Live Gold” as she called for students to continue practicing the enduring values of empathy, self-control and self-improvement.
“You have to encourage that from a young age,” she said.
One of Turrentine’s main goals at Coosa High, she said, will be to foster a greater sense of pride in the school.
“It’s great to be a Coosa eagle,” she said.
According to a news release from Floyd County Schools, Turrentine was one of three internal applicants and one of 18 altogether.
The process of replacing Turrentine will start next week, the release states, but it has yet to be determined if an interim principal will be put in place for next year or if a search will be launched to find a permanent principal.
Also during the meeting, the board approved next year’s $112,481,620 budget, which reflects $26,546 more in revenues, $97.64 million, than expenditures, $97.62 million. The budget includes a 2 percent pay raise for all employees, and about 66 percent of expenditures are focused on instructional services.
The board is expected to take action on next year’s property tax rate at its July 11 meeting, allowing time to get more definite tax digest numbers. No tax increase is expected; board members are looking at implementing a rollback rate.
A contract with West Georgia Lighting Design & Service for $88,000 of installation work on four new light poles at the Pepperell High School football field also got board approval.
Last month, the board purchased the poles with high-intensity discharge lights and precast concrete bases for $165,000. The board also approved on Tuesday the $37,137 purchase of a generator system to provide emergency power for the light poles — the cost includes installation.
Work on the light poles, as well as work on fixing drainage issues for the field, has to be complete by Pepperell High’s first home football game Sept. 1. David Van Hook, facilities manager for the system, said on Monday that West Georgia Lighting has been given until July 31 to complete installation, providing three-and-a-half weeks of leeway before game day.
The system’s insurance policies, which had been rebid by Brown & Brown Insurance, for next year, totaling $381,058, were also approved. Assistant Superintendent April Childers said the total is slightly more than the total of last year’s policies due to an increase in the property value of Coosa High.
The board approved the system’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage through Brown & Brown at its regular meeting earlier this month. Superintendent John Jackson said the system had previously been self-insured, and the move to go with the local insurance provider was done to reduce liability.