Dillard to lead at BHS

April 8, 2011

Three new Henry County school administrators were approved Thursday for the coming school year.

The Henry County School Board approved the appointment of Garrett Dillard, a graduate of Laurel Park High School, as principal of Bassett High School in 2011-12. Dillard now is an assistant principal at Page High School in Greensboro, N.C., according to a news release.

Dillard is a graduate of Radford University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife, LaTonda, have three children, Caleb, 12; Ciara, 8; and Cadance, 2.

His mother, Virginia Dillard, lives in Sandy Level.

“I am looking forward to being the principal at Bassett High School,” Dillard said in the release. “In this role I will have the opportunity to impact the lives of many students. In essence, I will have the opportunity to impact the community, and it is a great responsibility. Students will always come first, and I plan to come to afterschool events and events in the community to prepare for my new role.”

The principal’s position at Bassett has been open since former principal Dean Randall left for a new job in January. Mike Weber is serving as interim principal this semester.

The board also approved Pat Walmsley as principal in 2011-12 at Campbell Court Elementary School. Walmsley, who has worked in both the city and county school systems, has been interim principal at Campbell Court since earlier this school year.

A graduate of Virginia Tech and Radford, she has been principal at Ridgeway Elementary and assistant principal at Magna Vista and Martinsville high schools and Martinsville Middle School.

“I am so excited to be the leader of a great school with a caring staff who have high expectations for all students,” Walmsley said in the release. “It has been a pleasure to be here as an interim and now I will have the opportunity to continue working with my staff. We all share the vision that our students can achieve in the academic, social and athletic arenas when we give them the skills they need and instill positive attitudes to believe in themselves.”

Florence Simpson will be the coordinator of regional education at the division’s Center for Community Learning. She is a teacher and content support specialist there now and is a past principal of Laurel Park Middle School, the release said.

Simpson is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University and North Carolina A&T University.

“It has been a pleasure working with the students and staff” at the center, Simpson said in the release. “I feel that my past professional experiences will help me with this exciting educational challenge. I look forward to this new position with great anticipation of helping to achieve the best for all students.”

Each appointment was approved unanimously, the release said.

Schools Superintendent Anthony Jackson, who recommended the candidates, praised them in the release.

“Each newly appointed administrator is a student-centered leader who understands the needs of their schools, and I am confident that each will interact with the students, staff, and community to ensure that the vision and mission of the division are delivered,” Jackson said.

Opportunities to meet the new administrators will be announced later, the release said.


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