Principals hired for NASD academies, freshman academy

Published 12:12 am Saturday, May 10, 2014

NATCHEZ Four new principals were hired Thursday for the Natchez-Adams School District.

Three of the new principals will lead the new restructured middle school, and one will replace an outgoing administrator at the high school.

The NASD Board of Trustees approved the new hires during its meeting Thursday after Superintendent Frederick Hill’s recommendation. After the meeting, Hill said the new administrators would help move the district forward.

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The new NASD administrators are:

• Charles Stevenson who will lead the Morgantown Middle Leadership Academy.

• Chavis Bradford who will lead the Morgantown Middle College Prep Academy.

• Tawana Thorton who will lead the Morgantown Middle Arts Academy.

• Willis Smith who will lead the Freshman Academy.

In March, the school board approved a restructuring plan for the district that included establishing three smaller learning communities for students: middle school academies, an early college model and a career academy.

The changes are structured around the idea of smaller classes and more personal teacher instruction. The new academies will begin for the 2014-15 school year.

The academies at Morgantown will serve as a school within a school and will feature three academies or focuses of study: leadership, arts and college prep.

Stevenson is assistant principal at Noxubee County High School and will be over the leadership academy.

Bradford is federal programs director at Wilkinson County School District and will be over the college prep academy.

Students in grades six through eight will pick a specific academy at the beginning of the year and will have to wait until the end of the year to change.

Each academy will be physically housed on the same campus, but will carry its own staff and accountability.

From the academies at Morgantown, students will transition to the Natchez Freshman Academy. The district implemented a freshman academy in 2011-2012, but the newly approved freshman academy will be more independent than the current model, Hill said.

Current Freshman Academy Principal Sekufele Lewanika will retire at the end of this school year.

Smith, who is assistant principal at Cardozo Middle School in the Jackson Public Schools, will lead the freshman academy.

The current Freshman Academy is housed on the high school’s campus, but Hill said the new model would be at a different location that has yet to be determined.

“We really want to wait and see how many students we’re going to have before we decide that,” Hill said Thursday. “We’ve got a few options.”

All the new principals will begin at a salary of $75,000 for 240 days.