11/15/09 — Rosewood Middle has new principal

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Rosewood Middle has new principal

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 15, 2009 1:50 AM

Mary Kay James

A new principal has been named for Rosewood Middle School, following the former administrator's resignation Thursday.

Mary Kay James, assistant principal at Greenwood Middle School, will replace RMS principal Susie Shepherd, effective Dec. 1, officials announced Saturday.

Ms. Shepherd's departure came on the heels of a grades-for-cash fundraiser that drew national attention and was immediately canceled by school officials.

The RMS parent advisory council reportedly had approached the former principal with the fundraising incentive, which would allow students to add 20 points to two tests of their choosing, in exchange for money donated toward the school's technology program.

Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said Friday he met with Ms. Shepherd Thursday and she decided to take annual leave time starting Nov. 13, and would be retiring effective Dec. 1.

Mrs. James is also a veteran educator with more than 29 years of experience. She began her career in 1980 as a high school English teacher in Belhaven, N.C.

She came to Wayne County Public Schools in 1986 as an English teacher at Charles B. Aycock High School. She went on to work as a school counselor and assistant principal.

Her educational background includes a bachelor's degree in English education from Elizabeth City State University, a master's degree in counselor education from East Carolina University and a master's degree in school administration from ECU.

"Mrs. James' educational and administrative background reflects her character, experience, and leadership skills needed to effectively lead Rosewood Middle School. She looks forward to working with students, parents, staff, and the community in her new role," Taylor said.