LaDonna Turrentine, the principal of Johnson Elementary School, will be the new principal of Coosa High School. The move was announced at the Floyd County Board of Education meeting this morning.
She will take over the position on July 1 and has been with the District for 23 years collectively as a teacher and an administrator.
Turrentine has extensive experience as an administrator. Prior to being principal at Johnson Elementary, her roles include being the principal at Kingston Elementary and an assistant principal of instruction and/or discipline at Armuchee Middle, Armuchee Elementary, and Model High. She graduated with Educational Master's and Specialist degrees from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee and Bachelor’s degree from Shorter College.
“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as the principal of Johnson Elementary School for the past eight years. I am now looking forward to the opportunity of leading Coosa High School as we prepare 21st Century students to be college and career ready,” said Turrentine “Coosa High has enjoyed tremendous success academically and athletically, which has not occurred by accident. It has been through the hard work, dedication, and partnerships that have existed between school staff, parents, community members, and the students. I am humbled, blessed, and most appreciative of the opportunity presented to me to become a member of the Coosa High Educational Family. It’s great to be a Coosa Eagle!”
The school district conducted a thorough interview and selection process. To begin, the position was shared internally with all employees, then posted externally on floydboe.net and teachgeorgia.org. There were 18 applicants, three of those being internal and 15 of them being external.
“Usually, principals have already solidified everything for the upcoming school year, yet we saw some very strong candidates for the position considering the timing,” said Dr. John Jackson, Superintendent of Floyd County Schools. “This was a very coveted position.”
The hiring committee was constructed of a teacher representative, a Local School Governance Team (LSGT) representative, the building principal, and two central office employees. After rigorous screening and interviews by the hiring committee, three finalists were presented to the superintendent, then shared with the Floyd County Board of Education and Coosa High School’s LSGT.
“We are excited about the enthusiasm La Donna will bring to her new position. She has fostered achievement at Johnson Elementary and we will look for similar results to be demonstrated at Coosa High. She is a change agent with high expectations and high energy,” Jackson said of Turrentine. “She has experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and that will help tremendously with preparing our K-8 students. La Donna is fully equipped to advise everyone from parents to staff on how to support our students to reach their full potential.”
The new principal for Coosa High School is expected to be announced by the Floyd County Board of Education during today’s meeting, according to Superintendent John Jackson.
Jackson said central office officials, along with the high school’s Local School Governance Team, had interviewed five candidates since former Principal Trevor Hubbard decided in late May to leave the school after seven years to become the building and grounds facilitator for the system.
The meeting starts at 8 a.m. and will be held in the boardroom at the central office, 600 Riverside Parkway. Board members will go into executive session after they look to approve several items, including next year’s budget. They will then come out of executive session and approve the personnel changes, filling the principal vacancy at Coosa High.
Next year’s budget will also get the go-ahead from board members today. Revenues — approximately $97.64 million — are projected to exceed expenditures — approximately $97.62 — by $26,546.
“Of course, we’re pleased to have a balanced budget,” Jackson said, adding that the system is in a “very good financial position” and staffing is almost to its pre-recession level.
Jackson said another good sign is the system has been able to reach its current financial standing without raising the property tax rate in several years — the last increase came in 2011, when it was raised to its current level of 18.58 mills.
The board has yet to set next year’s property tax rate, but Jackson said that will come at the July 11 board meeting after officials get a better estimate of the tax digest. Board members have previously discussed a likelihood to go with a rollback rate of 18.355 mills, so property owners who had their assessed property value go up don’t have their taxes increase under a continuation of the current rate.
An $88,000 contract with West Georgia Lighting Design & Service for installation work on four new light poles at the Pepperell High School football field will also go before the board for approval. The board approved the purchase of the poles with high-intensity discharge lights and precast concrete bases for $165,000 last month. Also, the system purchased a generator system last week to run the new lights for $37,137.
Pepperell High’s first home football game is Sept. 1, so Facilities Manager David Van Hook said the system gave the company until July 31 to complete installation, leaving about three-and-a-half weeks of leeway before gameday.