Kannapolis schools fill three key posts

The Kannapolis City Board of Education recently filled three leadership posts, including appointing a principal at Jackson Park Elementary to replace longtime teacher and administrator Lex Graham, who retired June 30.

New principal Beth Anne Marshall comes from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where she is credited with improving student achievement as the academic facilitator and exceptional children's administrator at Bishop Spaugh Community Academy.

Marshall also developed a program that cut suspensions at the school nearly in half, Kannapolis school officials said.

She previously was an interim and assistant principal at Allenbrook Elementary in Charlotte and a principal intern at Charlotte's Bain Elementary.

Marshall also has been a reading specialist, math teacher, language arts teacher and an exceptional children's coordinator and teacher over a 16-year career.

The school board also named Jennifer Baucom to direct the McKnight Child Development Center and the Kannapolis City Schools' Head Start program. She will move from Shady Brook Elementary to replace Martie Williams, who retired June 30.

Baucom was curriculum coordinator at Shady Brook Elementary since 2004. During her tenure, Shady Brook was named an Exemplary Reading First School by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

Baucom previously was assistant principal of Granite Quarry Elementary in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools. She also was a Rowan-Salisbury elementary school teacher. Kannapolis City Schools will now begin looking for a new curriculum coordinator for Shady Brook Elementary.

The board also promoted Bonnie West to direct the system's Exceptional Children's Program. For the past six years, West has been the system support specialist in the EC department.

She also was an exceptional children's resource teacher at Forest Park Elementary, where she was named teacher of the year. She was a finalist for systemwide teacher of the year.

West has taught exceptional children in several communities in North Carolina and Georgia over a 26-year career.

Assistant Superintendent Debra Morris said she's confident all three will do excellent work for children.

"All three of these outstanding educators have strong records of success, and they're tremendous leaders," Morris said in a news release. "They'll bring enormous talent and enthusiasm to their new roles, and they'll help our schools achieve even greater success."