LOW MOOR — As part of its transition plan for the upcoming school year, the Alleghany Highlands School Board has appointed assistant principals for Alleghany High School and Covington Middle School.
On Monday, the school board appointed Charity Hale and Chris Jones to serve as assistant principals at Alleghany High School. The board also appointed Marty Wood and Cindy Fox as assistant principals at Covington Middle School. The appointments are effective July 1.
Each assistant principal has administrative experience that will help ensure that the transition to a fully consolidated school division in the fall of 2023 will go smoothly. Jeter-Watson, Callaghan, Mountain View and Sharon elementary schools will remain open, but the joint division will have one middle school, housed in the current Covington High School building, and a single high school, housed in the current Alleghany High School building. The middle school will be called Covington Middle School. The high school will retain the Alleghany High School name.
In October 2022, the school board approved a strategic timeline that outlines an orderly transition to full consolidation. One of the school board’s first steps under that timeline was to appoint principals at Alleghany High School and Covington Middle School for the fall of 2023. Derek Cantrell, the current principal at Covington High School, was named principal at AHS. Covington Middle School will be led by Karen Staunton, who is currently the principal at Alleghany High School.
“Assistant principals are a vital component of school leadership, and we are blessed to have such a talented and experienced group of folks already with us. Their support and guidance will help ensure that our students and families are well taken care of as we navigate the challenges and opportunities next year and beyond,” said Jonathan Arritt, vice chair of the Alleghany Highlands School Board.
Hale has served as assistant principal at AHS since July 2022. She joined Alleghany County Public Schools in July 2021 to become activities director for the school division. In February 2022, she moved to the position of Alleghany Highlands Healthcare Advancement Grant coordinator.
Prior to joining Alleghany County Public Schools, Hale worked at Covington High School. During her time with Covington City Public Schools, she served as a certified athletic trainer and sports medicine teacher (2007-2016) and as CHS athletic director (2017-2022).
Hale, a graduate of Covington High School, holds a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and allied health science from Bridgewater College and a master’s degree in kinesiology from James Madison University. Just recently, Hale completed the certificate program in Educational Leadership through JMU as well.
She holds teaching endorsements in sports medicine, allied health, biology, health and physical education, and family and consumer sciences.
Jones has served under Cantrell as an assistant principal at Covington High School since 2016. He has also served as the varsity football coach at the school during that time. He was athletic director for one year.
Prior to becoming an administrator with Covington City Public Schools, Jones taught special education and physical education in several Virginia school divisions, including Bath County, Franklin County, Lynchburg, Sussex County, and Staunton. He was in Bath County from 2000- 2002.
Jones graduated from Concord University in Athens, W.Va., in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and a Bachelor of Science interdisciplinary degree in education/physical education. In 1995, he received an endorsement from Bluefield College in health for grades K-12. Jones received a master’s degree in physical education from Old Dominion University in 2006. He received an endorsement in educational leadership from Concord in 2014.
Wood has been principal of Clifton Middle School since 2019. He served as an interim principal at the school for three months before he was appointed to the post in July 2019. He was an assistant principal at CMS from 2018-2019.
Wood began his career in education as a teacher at Clifton Forge Elementary East from 1991 to 1998. He moved to Sharon Elementary School in 1998 where he taught sixth and seventh grade until 2001. In 2001, he joined the faculty at CMS and taught physical science until 2018. He was athletic director at CMS from 2016-2018.
He graduated from Hampden Sydney College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in managerial economics. Wood earned a master’s degree in education with a specialization in K- 12 administration and supervision from the University of Virginia in 2010.
Wood has been a golf coach and a junior varsity baseball coach, and he is active in the community through the Clifton Forge Elks Lodge.
Cindy Fox has served as an assistant principal at CMS since 2019.
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