Long-time JHS principal Mike Newell is leaving the school to take a job as the system’s director of operations, a new administrative post that was created by the Jacksonville Board of Education earlier this month. Wellborn High School Principal Rick Carter, who was named principal of the year for Alabama in 2013, is moving in to take Newell’s place at JHS.
“I’m truly going to miss walking in the doors at Jacksonville High School,” Newell said. “We have so many wonderful students and a fantastic faculty.”
In his new position, Newell will help manage human resources, will be responsible for school safety and will help support Superintendent Jon Paul Campbell. Campbell said Newell is needed because there is no one else there to help him with the mounting responsibilities of running Jacksonville public schools.
Next year the school system will undergo a digital conversion project and it will issue iPads to every student in grades 4-12. At the same time, it will be ramping up plans to begin a school construction project.
“With all we have coming up I dare say it would be impossible to do the job on the level we need it done without his help,” Campbell said.
Rick Carter will officially become the JHS principal on July 1, leaving behind four years at Wellborn. A 13-year resident of Jacksonville, Carter said he has mixed emotions about leaving WHS and feels that the new post will be the right fit for him, his wife, Shannon Carter, and their four girls.
“My goal is to do just as good a job as Mr. Newell,” Carter said. “I know this will be a smooth transition as Mr. Newell has been supportive.”
Carter said he was unaware of the opportunity until last week and added that he applied for the job Friday. Campbell said he was aware of Carter’s success and his Jacksonville ties when the position opened.
It didn’t take long, he said, for the board to choose Carter for the job.
“You have a hard act to follow, but we are really excited to have you,” Campbell said.
Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.