Newton High principal announced
New hire comes from Burke County
Newton High School has a new principal. The Board of Education announced Tuesday that Roderick Sams will replace outgoing principal Joe Gheesling for the 20082009 school year.
Sams comes from Burke County, where he is currently the principal at Blakeney Elementary School.
Before his appointment to principal at Blakeney, Sams served the same role at SardisGirard Elementary School from 2001 to 2006, giving him eight years of experience as a headadministrator.
“ I saw Covington and Newton County as a tremendous opportunity for my family,” Sams said in a press release. “ From what I observed and what I’ve already been told by mem- bers of the community, it is a wonderful place to live and the type of place my family can grow and prosper.”
Sams’ path to NHS started in 1993 when he was a paraprofessional at Blakeney while attending Georgia Southern University.
The school hired Sams as a fifth grade teacher upon his graduation with a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education.
Along with his time as an administrator in elementary schools, Sams has four years of high school experience as an assistant principal at Burke County High School.
Sams continued his education at both Georgia South- ern and Augusta State University, receiving his doctor of education administration in 2007.
Theboard’s decision comes after a month- long interview process that included NHS assistant principals Victor Lee and Carl Skinner among the qualified candidates.
But the decision to go outside the school district echoes statements recently appointed Superintendent of Human Resources Dennis Carpenter made in an interview with The News last month that the county is broadening its efforts to find quality teachers and administrators.
Investigators found that a man matching Torres’ description had taken a taxi to an Atlanta bus station and purchased a ticket for California.
Torres and Gonzales moved into the house several months ago and two other men were visiting them, Bankhead said. All four men were from California.
Newton County Sheriff Joe Nichols pointed out investigators made arrests in 19 of the last 20 homicides in the county.
The success in clearing homicide cases was due to a combination of factors, he said.
“We’ve got some very good investigators here,” said Nich- ols. “We’ve been given excellent cooperation by the GBI in these last two cases and by New Jersey police and Alabama.”
He expressed appreciation for county agencies as well, such as the District Attorney’s office, Covington Police Department and Georgia State Patrol Troopers.
“We also have benefited by excellent information and interaction with the different communities,” Nichols said. “I appreciate the communities in being interested in and involved in clearing these cases.”
At a standing-room only Trelawney neighborhood crime watch meeting on Sunday afternoon, NCSO Lt. Bill Watterson reiterated the role that com- munities play in policing their neighborhoods.
“We had a good neighborhood watch, and it wasn’t even set up,” said Watterson, recalling his childhood days. “They were just nosy!
“You remember those days? That’s what we need to bring back.”
NCSO Sgt. Sonny Goodson reassured the Trelawney subdivision residents that their neighborhood was still one of the safest out of the subdivisions along Brown Bridge Road.
Many residents also voiced concerns about group homes and unattended children and teenagers roaming about, committing petty crimes and making the neighborhood feel unsafe.