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South High principal to become acting director of secondary education

Former Baltimore magnet high school principal to replace Richard P. Akers

July 14, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • The main entrance of South Hagerstown HIgh School is shown in this file photo. South Hagerstown High School Principal Richard P. Akers has been promoted acting director of secondary education.
Herald-Mail file photo

South Hagerstown High School Principal Richard P. Akers has been promoted, and the man taking his place at one of the county's largest high schools last worked for Baltimore City schools.

The Washington County Board of Education unanimously approved personnel moves during a meeting Tuesday afternoon that included Akers' promotion to acting director of secondary education and the retirement of his predecessor, Dave Reeder.

Reeder retired as director of secondary education, effective July 1, to take a job as superintendent of Camp Hill School District, southwest of Harrisburg, Pa.

Akers will earn $126,699 in his new position this fiscal year, according to Donna Newcomer, director of human resources and professional learning. If Akers had remained principal at South High, his salary this school year would have been $123,163.

Timothy Dawson will replace Akers as South High's principal, effective July 25. Dawson will earn $126,000 this school year, according to an email from Newcomer.

The salary range for high school principals this school year is $93,520 to $134,018, Newcomer said.

Dawson was most recently a principal at Baltimore City College, a magnet high school in Baltimore. He has been with Baltimore City Public Schools from 2005 until the present, Newcomer said.

 Dawson stepped down as principal of the magnet school before the start of the past school year, according to an Aug. 13, 2010, story on The Baltimore Sun's website.

While Dawson retained the title of principal during the last school year, he was on leave, according to the Baltimore City Public Schools' human capital office. Newcomer said Dawson spent last school year working on his doctoral thesis.

Before going to Baltimore, Dawson's job experience included serving as a principal and assistant principal at middle and high schools for Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, Newcomer said.

School officials hired someone from outside the county because they felt he was the most qualified for the job, Newcomer said.

Officials wanted to make sure they would have a principal with "the experience and knowledge base to take on a school that size," she said.

"Certainly, Dr. Dawson was the most qualified person to assume that role based on his credentials, his interview" and his past experiences, which make him a "great fit,"  Newcomer said.

One of South High's three assistant principals also is changing jobs. James S. Aleshire will become principal at Clear Spring High School, succeeding the retired Michael Shockey. That assistant principal job has not been filled yet, Newcomer said.

The other two South High assistant principals from last school year, Sherry Hamilton and Tim Morrow, as well as Business Manager David Hedges, will be back in the coming school year, Newcomer said.

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