Henry County schools make leadership changes

June 1, 2017
Martinsville Bulletin

There will be several familiar faces taking on new roles in Henry County schools this fall.

Following a closed session in Thursday’s school board meeting, the members – minus Dr. Merris Stambaugh, who was absent – approved eight administrative appointments.

While Turonne Hunt is currently an assistant principal at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School and has served students as an elementary teacher and administrative intern in the past, she will now take on a new role as principal Stanleytown Elementary School.

 “I am excited to have this opportunity to become part of the Stanleytown Elementary family,” Hunt said. “I look forward to building relationships and collaborating with the students, staff, and families to continue the success of our students as they grow and strive to reach their academic goals.”

Accepting a position at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School, Eric Seiy will become the new assistant principal. Seiy currently serves as an assistant principal at Bassett High School and has worked with students as a teacher and assistant principal during his tenure in Henry County.

“I am thrilled to become a part of the Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School team,” Seiy said. “I am excited to work collaboratively with parents, students and staff members to assist all students in their pursuit of knowledge and excellence. I can’t wait to be a part of Team Cavalier!”

Bassett High School will be minus a special education teacher, but Travis Murphy will start a new journey with the school system as the Coordinator of Regional Alternative Programs and Student Athletics.

Murphy previously served students as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.

“It’s a great honor to be selected to serve the students and community in this capacity,” Murphy said. “I’m a fierce advocate for student success and look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that every student meets the high expectations of today’s ever-changing world.”

Shonna Pilson will be principal at Campbell Court Elementary School. Pilson, who is currently an assistant principal for instruction at Fieldale-Collinsville and Laurel Park Middle Schools, has also served as a data coordinator and an elementary school teacher.

“I am honored to become a part of the Campbell Court family,” Pilson said. “I know that the teachers, students, and families at Campbell Court have high expectations and a strong work ethic, both in the classroom and across the community. Together, we will work to leverage these strengths so that we can exceed state standards and foster another generation of lifelong learners.”

There will be a new Coordinator for Career and Technical Education and English Learners in Henry County, Daniel Rodriguez-Coronado.

Rodriguez-Coronado is currently an ESL and Spanish teacher at Magna Vista High School.

“I am looking forward to continue serving our students and my colleagues in this new capacity,” Rodriguez-Coronado said. “Preparing our students for their future careers and making their classroom experiences relevant and meaningful is my goal every day. I am extremely excited and humbled by this opportunity.”

Franketta Tatum will be Coordinator of New Tech Programs for Bassett High School and Magna Vista High School.

Currently the Director of Bengal Tech Academy at Bassett High School, Tatum has also served students as an elementary and middle school teacher.

“I’m excited to collaborate with the administrators, faculty, and community stakeholders at both Bengal Tech and Warrior Tech Academies,” Tatum said. “I look forward to supporting the growing partnership between Henry County Public Schools and The New Tech Network. It is indeed a privilege to be selected to lead in this capacity.”

There will also be a new Secondary Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator, Sue Townes.

Townes, who has served students as a Social Studies teacher and student mentor program coordinator, is currently a Teacher Leader at Bassett High School.

“I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to work for a school system that invests so generously in the training and professional growth of its staff,” Townes said. “I am looking forward to utilizing the skills and experiences I’ve gained over the past 10 years as I serve Henry County staff and students in this new role.”

Bassett High School will welcome a new assistant principal, Duane Whittaker.

The new Bengal administrator will return to Henry County after serving as a principal in Rockingham County, North Carolina. In the past, Whittaker has also worked with students in Henry County as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.

“I am very excited to be working with the students, staff and community of Bassett High School and especially excited to return to the best school division in Virginia,” Whittaker said. “Bassett High School is consistently recognized at the local, state and national level for its accomplishments. I look forward to being part of and adding to that continued success.”

No matter the position, each person is necessary to provide quality education in Henry County.

“The dedication and expertise each of these administrators brings to their new roles will continue to strengthen student learning opportunities and further ensure the success of each of our students as they work to achieve their individual academic goals,” said Dr. Jared Cotton, division superintendent.