DOBSON — The county school board held a special closed session on Friday to discuss personnel; at the end of the session, several position changes were announced.
First, the Surry County Board of Education congratulated Lorrie Sawyers, principal of East Surry, on her retirement, effective July 1. Sawyers is a 29-year veteran in the Surry County Schools system. Over her career, Mrs. Sawyers has worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.
“I have enjoyed serving in the Surry County school system,” said Sawyers. “Through the years, I have worked with many great people and have made lasting friendships. I appreciate the support I have been given and am grateful for the opportunity to have made a difference.”
This follows the announcement Thursday of another retirement on Thursday from the central office: Sonia Dickerson, a 31-year veteran, stepped down as director of communications, instructional media and teacher quality.
As it happens every year, retirements and promotions lead to a game of musical chairs.
Jared Jones will transfer as principal from Shoals Elementary to East Surry.
“At this time, the principal position remains open at Shoals, but we are committed to finding the best fit for Shoals Elementary as soon as possible,” said Dr. Travis Reeves, school superintendent.
Dr. Tracey Lewis was announced Thursday as the director of communications and teacher recruitment and retention starting July 1, taking over most of Dickerson’s duties. Lucas Gillispie, director of digital learning, will add on the duties of instructional media that Dickerson previously held.
Dr. Lewis was principal at Pilot Mountain Middle. To take her place, the school board announced Amy Harris, who was most recently the assistant principal at Meadowlark Middle School in Winston-Salem. Prior to that role, she was a middle grades math teacher and an instructional coach.
Assuming the principal role at Westfield Elementary is Laura Whitaker who will replace Holly Whitaker. Laura Whitaker was most recently the assistant principal at Pilot Mountain Elementary. Holly Whitaker requested a transfer to the Surry Early College to fill an English teacher position.
Two principals are swapping places. Molly Anderson is transferring from Rockford Elementary to Franklin Elementary. Conversely, Jodi Southern is transferring from Franklin Elementary to Rockford Elementary.
“The senior cabinet and I worked extensively with School Improvement Teams to select the right leaders for each school,” said Dr. Reeves. “Each administrator possesses the high-quality skills and abilities necessary to continue the tradition of excellence established in our district. I look forward to working with these professionals in their new roles on our Surry County Schools Leadership Team.”
In additional news, Chuck Graham, who retired a year ago as associate superintendent, will become the countywide athletic director. Tom Hemmings, who recently resigned, previously held this role.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.