Futrell, Peele promoted

Published 9:55 am Thursday, July 19, 2012

WINTON – Two of Hertford County’s public high schools now have new principals.

Monday night, the Hertford County Board of Education accepted recommendations from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael D. Perry to fill the vacancies at Hertford County High School and C.S. Brown High School.

Moving over as Principal of HCHS will be Ninth Grade Success Academy Administrator James Futrell. The 2000 graduate of Hertford County High has been a counselor and assistant principal at the school.

“I am excited about having the opportunity to lead the leaders in our school,” Futrell said. “We have a great staff at Hertford County High School. They have proven they are equipped to prepare kids for the next level of their life.”

Futrell complemented his predecessor, the now retired Greg Hogue, for his work in making HCHS a School of Distinction.

“He has led a tremendous turnaround since I came to the school as a counselor in 2006,” Futrell said. “He leaves really big shoes to fill.”

Futrell said he was also excited about working with the students of Hertford County High Schooland helping them leave the institution prepared to make an impact and be productive citizens.

“I’m excited to come back to the place I call home,” he said.

Futrell graduated from Elizabeth City State University in 2004 with a degree in history education. He continued his education with master’s degree in education from Cambridge College and recently finished a master’s in educational administration at ECSU.

Also new to the principal ranks is Keisha Peele, who moves into the lead seat at C.S. Brown following the retirement of longtime principal Nora Artis. Peele takes over at the Winton-based school after having served as an Assistant Principal at HCHS.

“I am honored and truly excited to begin my tenure as principal of C.S. Brown High School,” Peele said. “While I am not new to facilitating major change on the high school level, I am eager to help C.S. Brown move forward in this new era of education.

“My experiences in creating and developing the current Ninth Grade Success Academy and my consistent role in the leadership team at Hertford County High School have prepared me for this new challenge,” she added. “With the support of the community and the faculty and staff of C.S. Brown, I intend to continue the tradition of excellence that is part of the schools rich history. I look forward to starting our students on a lifelong journey towards success. The sky is the limit.”

Peele graduated with two bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then earned a master’s degree from East Carolina University in Greenville.

Two new assistant principals were also approved by the board during the meeting as well as the transfer of another.

Mae Rose was named Assistant Principal at Hertford County High School and Kimberly Scott was named to the same post at Ahoskie Elementary School. Crystal Phillips was transferred from Ahoskie Elementary to become Assistant Principal and Administrator at the Ninth Grade Success Academy.

For his part, Perry said he was pleased with the people who would be moving into new roles with the district.

“I am actually very excited and very high on both Mr. Futrell and Mrs. Peele,” he said. “I do know and understand that normally you don’t entrust the flagship high school to a young person who doesn’t have a tremendous amount of experience, but I don’t’ believe Mr. Futrell is just any other person.”

The superintendent said he would provide Futrell with a mentor who would help him as he matures as a school administrator.

“I am really, really excited about what he brings to the children of Hertford County,” Perry added.

The superintendent also praised Peele and her willingness to work and her knowledge. He said she will also have a mentor to help her as she moved along as a new principal.

“I am pleased with the focus I think she will bring to the C.S. Brown campus,” he said.

Perry was also pleased with the background Phillips brings to the Ninth Grade Success Academy. He said he believed she had the knowledge and skills to be successful at that location.

Board members congratulated all the administrators on their promotions and wished them well. They also challenged them to work hard and to be an example to their staff and the students.

“I want you to know that you have our support 100 percent,” said John Horton, the school board’s senior member. “I have been around here quite a while and this is about the first time that I’ve ever seen us go through this process and we have 100 percent confidence in the people already in the system.”

Horton particularly challenged Futrell to succeed at HCHS.

“I want you to say to Mr. Futrell, so go you, so goes Hertford County,” Horton continued. “A lot of our hopes rest upon your leadership. You have done an excellent job in the role you have played thus far and we have all the confidence in the world.

“I must admit from the former superintendent to the interim superintendent through the new superintendent, you have had some high recommendations,” Horton said. “They have thus spoken for you, but now you must seek for yourself.”

Board Vice Chair Sheila J. Porter congratulated the new administrators.

“I am sure you are excited and are making plans for the upcoming year,” she said. “We have worked with you in the past… so we know what you have to offer Hertford County. I wish you the best.”

Board member J. Wendell Hall echoed the thoughts of his fellow board members.

“We are so glad you are here with us and we hope the year will be a great year under your leadership,” he said.

Board member Dennis M. Deloatch also offered his congratulations.

“I certainly want to congratulate all the people who have reached this level of plateau you have been looking for,” he said. “I will say that we want you to do well because what happens to you happens to us. We’re all in this together.”