Abilities demonstrated by two veteran educators in previous posts with Lenoir County Public Schools have helped move them into new positions of leadership with LCPS.
Pam Heath, a former teacher, principal and – since August – the district’s interim human resources director, now has permanent status as HR director; and Stephanie Smith, an assistant principal at Kinston High School since 2015, will take over as principal of Lenoir County Learning Academy, the district’s alternative school, in January.
The reassignments were approved Monday night by the Lenoir County Board of Education, acting on the recommendation of Superintendent Brent Williams.
“Mrs. Heath has served with distinction as our interim director. She’s done a great job, continuing the already strong operation of the HR department and has brought her own strong level of skills and talents to the job,” Williams said in announcing Heath’s selection.
Since retiring in May 2012, Heath has served in seven different interim roles with the district, including principal at five different schools. She moved into the HR job on Aug. 1 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Tracy Cole, who went to work for East Carolina University.
Heath, of Deep Run, started with LCPS as an elementary teacher in 1977 and, after teaching for 20 years, worked as a principal, the district’s director of middle school education and as an advisor with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction before retiring.
She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from East Carolina University and holds specialized certification in school administration and as a curriculum instructional specialist.
“Forty years of my life have been dedicated to this school system. When I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to come back in this role at HR director it just felt right. It felt like it was the right choice,” Heath said.
“There are so many amazing people to work with in the school system. Our students, our staff and administration are the best, so it’s a pleasure to be a part of that family again – in a permanent role.”
Smith is scheduled to accept leadership of Lenoir County Learning Academy when the second semester starts Jan. 7, replacing Edwin Jones, interim principal since the beginning of the school year. Jones has filled the opening left by the reassignment of Andre Whitfield as principal at Southeast Elementary School.
Williams had praise for both Smith and Jones on Monday night.
“Mrs. Smith has done an outstanding job as assistant principal,” he said. “We are certain she will do a great job in her new role.”
Jones has infused his interim role with “vigor,” Williams said. “He’s done an outstanding job of leading the Learning Academy,” the superintendent said. “I’ve been very impressed with how he’s come in and served with innovation.”
A middle school language arts teacher in Lenoir and Pitt counties from 1999 to 2015, Smith was named an assistant principal at Kinston High in April 2015.
The Kinston resident holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and communications from St. Augustine College and a master of school administration degree from East Carolina University.
“I thank you for the opportunity,” she told Williams and the school board Monday night. “I truly believe in the Learning Academy. Some of our students who transferred there (from Kinston High), they’ve gone there and done well and they’ve graduated. I’ve seen the success they’ve had there.”