Jeni Wiley

Jeni Wiley has been named the new principal at West Pine Middle.

That was among a handful of school-level administrative staffing changes the Moore County Board of Education approved Monday during a brief meeting.

West Pine’s current principal, Doug Massengill announced last week that he’s leaving the school at the end of the month to take the reins at an elementary school in New Hanover County.

Wiley is now principal at Elise Middle in Robbins. She will move to West Pine effective March 2.

She previously served as West Pine’s assistant principal before taking over at Elise in 2016. She will be replaced there through an internal application process.

“During this time of transition, Moore County Schools is indeed fortunate to have a strong internal pool of administrators that allows us in many instances to fill vacancies internally,” said Tim Locklair, chief officer for academics and student support services for the school district.

A districtwide shuffling of existing personnel that the board approved on Monday anticipates the opening of the new Aberdeen Elementary School this fall. The new K-5 campus, which will replace the current Aberdeen Elementary and Aberdeen Primary schools, is nearing completion off of N.C. 5.

Dante Poole, currently principal at Aberdeen Elementary, will transfer over to the new school this spring. The schools have yet to announce an interim principal to finish out the year at the existing school.

Rachel Andress, currently Aberdeen Primary’s assistant principal, will hold that position at the new Aberdeen Elementary beginning in July. Aberdeen Elementary’s assistant principal, Lacey Miller, will retire at the end of this school year.

Effective immediately, Daryl Jackson is moving from the principal’s office at Aberdeen Primary to an assistant principal position at Southern Pines Elementary to replace Katie Lockamy. Lockamy has been named an assistant principal at Pinecrest.

At Aberdeen Primary, Julie MacPherson has replaced Jackson as interim principal. MacPherson formerly split her time as an assistant principal at the Carthage and West End elementary schools.

A pair of retired administrators will step in to fill those two positions: Brenda Cassady at West End and Judith Douglas at Carthage. Cassady served as principal at Elise Middle for 23 years before retiring in 2013. Douglas was formerly an assistant principal at Pinehurst Elementary.

Three middle school assistant principals will lose the “interim” designation for long-term positions: Angelina Cobb at Southern, Vance Lee at Crain’s Creek and Lashunda Maynor at New Century.

Union Pines High will also get a new assistant principal in Hawhana Locklear. Locklear comes from Robeson County schools, where she served as a middle school principal.

In other business, the board unanimously approved an adjustment to the guidelines it approved late last year for the disposal of its four soon-to-be-surplus schools.

Those include the current Aberdeen primary and elementary schools, as well as the two schools in Southern Pines. The new Southern Pines Elementary in Morganton Park North is scheduled to open in January, so the two existing schools will no longer be needed in 2021.

This spring, the district plans to pursue selling those schools through a sealed bid process.

Southern Pines Primary is the possible exception. The nonprofit Southern Pines Land and Housing Trust is pursuing a direct negotiation with Moore County Schools to purchase the West Southern Pines campus and use it as a community cultural, activity and education center.

On Monday, the school board adjusted the wording of their previously-adopted resolution to state that proceeds from the sale of the four schools “will be used as maintenance and capital outlay to cover some of the school system’s many pressing maintenance and capital needs,” effectively binding those funds to that purpose.

That change came at the request of the Moore County Board of Commissioners, who last week declined to purchase any of the four schools. The county has first right of refusal in the sale of surplus school property.

“These adjustments do not make any change to the content or the substance of the resolution,” said Superintendent Bob Grimesey.

Appraisals on the four schools conducted in late 2019 returned values of $630,000 for Southern Pines Primary, $635,000 for Aberdeen Primary, $1.1 million for Southern Pines Elementary and $1.3 million for Aberdeen Elementary. The school board previously expressed the intention to use proceeds from the sale of those schools for upgrades and repairs at its remaining campuses.

Moore County Schools’ 20-year master list of anticipated building needs on its existing campuses totals $73 million.

(1) comment

Kent Misegades

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