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Principal selection process begins for  PES, MCES & SEBHS


Bulloch County Schools posted principal positions this week for Portal Elementary School, Mill Creek Elementary School and Southeast Bulloch High School. The district’s annual principal contract process, which culminates in May, will begin with a search for these positions due to the retirement of SEBHS Principal Donna Clifton and the expiration of the one-year interim principal contracts for Jennifer Wade of MCES and Dr. Laurie Mascolo of PES. Superintendent Charles Wilson plans to recommend candidates to the Board of Education by March 9 for MCES and PES and by April 13 for SEBHS.
“The Board of Education and I are committed to following the district’s established principal screening and selection process to ensure we have leaders in place, who will carry out our vision and mission,” Wilson said. The rigorous process includes candidate screenings for leadership criteria and multiple interviews. While the superintendent will make the final recommendations, the process does allow for school council input.
Wilson appointed Wade as interim principal in July when he transferred the school’s former principal, Patrick Hill to Portal Middle High School after Dr. Karen Doty retired. He appointed Mascolo as interim principal at PES in August after the resignation of Paul Hudson. “I have deep respect and appreciation for Ms. Wade and Dr. Mascolo,” Wilson said. “They stepped up during a time of need and kept these schools moving forward.”
Wade and Mascolo are both eligible to apply for their schools’ principal positions. “They have led their campuses well this year, and we will give consideration to the work they have done,” Wilson said. Wade and Mascolo each served as assistant principals in the district prior to their interim appointments. 
Donna Clifton, who will retire in June after 30 years as an educator, has served Bulloch County Schools for 23 years. She began her career in Effingham County, where she served for seven years. She began her tenure in Bulloch County as a fifth-grade teacher at Stilson Elementary. 
After ten years in the classroom, Clifton became an assistant principal at SEBHS, a post she held for two years before being named principal of Southeast Bulloch Middle School. She was principal of SEBMS for six years.  In 2013 Superintendent Wilson appointed her to lead SEBHS after Dr. Trey Robertson accepted an assistant superintendent’s position in Bryan County.
During her four years at SEBHS, she has been a staunch advocate for at-risk students. She has led her faculty and students to achieve a more than 10-point rise in graduation rates from 77.2 percent to 89.1 percent.


She is also a supportive supervisor. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) awarded her both the Seven Seals Award and the Patriot Award for her support of the Air National Guard's mission and its airmen, some who have been employed by SEBHS. 


2017 Spelling Bee Champion and Runner upEric Lim, 11, a sixth-grade student at Southeast Bulloch Middle School, is Bulloch County’s Spelling Bee champion for the second year in a row. He won the title in 2016 as a fifth-grade student at Brooklet Elementary.


Thirteen participants from the county’s 14 public and charter schools had a record word competition of 37 rounds, 30 of which were a dual between Lim and his remaining opponent, Eikem Gato of Brooklet Elementary School.  After Gato incorrectly spelled rendezvous, Lim spelled fraulein and mukhtar correctly to claim the championship.

The annual Bulloch County Spelling Bee is sponsored by the local chapter of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). Lim will advance to the District 8 Spelling Bee at Savannah State University on Feb. 25. Gato will serve as an alternate should Lim be unable to attend. The winner of the District 8 Spelling Bee will advance to the GAE State Spelling Bee on March 17, at Georgia State University and possibly the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June.  


Lim is the son of Sungkyun Lim and Jee Yoon Byun, of Statesboro. Gato, 10, is the son of Worlanyo Eric Gato and Vivian Gato, and the brother of 2015 Bulloch County Spelling Bee Champion Warlanyo Gato.


Lim and Gato received trophies and $100 and $50 cash prizes respectively. Each of the other school-level winners received medals. School-level winners were the following: Xavier Deckard, Julia P. Bryant; Valerie Rodriguez, Langston Chapel Elementary; Na’Quoyah Crawford, Langston Chapel Middle; Juliette Brannen, Mattie Lively Elementary; Reya Johnson, Mill Creek Elementary; Michael Hall, Nevils Elementary; Briar Lee, Portal Elementary; Shaneisha Coleman, Portal Middle; Victor Lee, Sallie Zetterower Elementary; Abigail Cave, Statesboro STEAM (Charter School); and Ruby Devoe, Stilson Elementary. Chase Page was the winner for William James Middle School, but he did not participate in the county competition.


Judges for this year’s Spelling Bee were Dr. Glayvera Richmond, Marsha Twiggs, Leah Crooke and Carolyn Smith.  The guest pronouncer was America Minc of Georgia Southern.  This year’s GAE Bulloch County Spelling Bee Committee was Penny Oglesby, Chianti Culver, Sherry Thompson, and Ardrena Jackson.


Pictured - (L-R): Eric Lim and Eikem Gato


Tamra Lamb



The Georgia Science Teachers Association (GSTA) selected Tamra Lamb as its 2017 Georgia Science Teacher of Promise at the elementary school level.  Lamb, a fifth-grade science and math teacher at Mattie Lively Elementary School was honored by GSTA at a special awards banquet on Feb. 3, at the Atlanta Evergreen Conference Resort as part of the annual GSTA Science Conference. 


“Tamra Lamb is a magnificent educator whom I feel blessed to work with,” said Dr. Carolyn Vasilatos, principal of MLES. “Her passion for science is unparalleled. She’s only been teaching three years, and joined our faculty in July.” Lamb previously served the district for two years at Langston Chapel Elementary School. 


Lamb received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education from Georgia Southern, where she made an equally strong impression on the faculty. She was actually nominated for the Georgia Teacher of Promise Award by one of her former professors, Dr. Katie Brkich, in the university’s Teaching and Learning Department.  


“I have worked with many pre-service and in-service teachers in my six years at Georgia Southern University, but none whom I am as proud to have worked with as Tamra,” Brkich said in her letter of recommendation to GSTA. Brkich further wrote, “Tamra moved to a fifth-grade math and science position this year at Mattie Lively Elementary. She has thrived! She has not only transformed the way her students see and feel about science, but also how the other fifth-grade teachers on her team teach science.” 


Lamb and other nominees had to complete an application process which included essay responses about how they would improve science education in their schools and school system, details about recent science lessons, and description of unique or creative lessons they have developed based on Georgia’s science standards. Nominees also had to submit three letters of recommendation. Applications were evaluated by a panel of judges using a rubric.


“Ms. Lamb works tirelessly to have an engaging classroom environment with multiple stations and activities prepared for her students,” said Vasilatos.  “She also works very closely with the science educators at Georgia Southern.”


The GSTA’s Teacher of Promise awards recognize science teachers with one to three years of experience who demonstrate exceptional promise.  The elementary, middle and high school recipients each received a $750 prize. Kia Mills of AR Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School in Richmond County was GSTA’s middle school-level winner, and Elizabeth Downey of Allatoona High School in Cobb County was the high school-level winner.