Riverdale principal selection reneges

Published 8:21 am Friday, June 12, 2009

COURTLAND—The search for a new principal at Riverdale Elementary School will continue after the county school board’s first choice for the job turned it down.

“Mrs. Lorie F. Fuller has decided to withdraw from consideration of the principal’s position at Riverdale Elementary School,” Superintendent Charles Turner said in a written statement.

The board of the Southampton County Public Schools had appointed Fuller, a 1988 honors graduate of Southampton High School and a former resident of Boykins, at their meeting Monday.

“I’ve decided to accept another job offer at this particular juncture with my current school district,” Fuller said during a telephone interview Thursday. “It’s going to more beneficial to my long-term career goals. I’ll be accepting a principal job in Craig County.”

Fuller said that although she would not be returning to Southampton County, she said she had been interested in the Riverdale job because she hails from the area, and had nothing but good things to say about the county school division.

“I have all positive praise for the school system and for Mr. Turner and (Director of Administration) Dr. Wayne Smith,” Fuller said. “They were both very professional.”

Meanwhile the school division provided additional information Wednesday about its hire for the assistant principal post at Riverdale, James Battle.

Battle is being offered an 11-month contract, and will be paid a salary of $62,500. In addition, he will receive an educational specialist supplement of $1,500.

“We look forward to working with Mr. Battle, who will join a strong division-wide administrative team,” Turner said. Battle’s first day is scheduled for Aug. 3.

The division needs a new principal at Riverdale to replace Andrea Ellis, who announced her retirement from the division in March after 41 years of service. Ellis was the last principal of Hunterdale Elementary School, which closed after Riverdale opened in the fall of 2008.

Tracy Stith-Johnson, who served as Riverdale’s assistant principal, took a job working with the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.