Local News

New principal to head school that held donations-for-grades fundraiser

Posted November 15, 2009 8:03 a.m. EST

— Wayne County Public Schools has named a replacement for a retiring principal who initiated a fundraiser in which students could get extra grade credits with donations.

Mary Kay James will take over on Dec. 1 when Susie Shepherd retires from her position as principal of Rosewood Middle School. James is currently an assistant principal at Greenwood Middle School.

"Mrs. James' educational and administrative background reflects her character, experience and leader ship skills needed to effectively lead Rosewood Middle School," said WCPS Superintendent Steven Taylor. "She looks forward to working with students, parents, staff and the community in her new role."

Shepherd authorized a fundraiser in which students who donated $20 would get 20 extra-credit points. Students could apply 10 points to two tests. In some cases, the points could boost a student's test score up a letter grade.

School system officials denounced the fundraiser and opened an investigation into it.

James has taught in public schools for 29 years and holds a bachelor's in English from Elizabeth State University and master's degrees in counselor education and school administration from East Carolina University. She joined WCPS as an English teacher at Charles B. Aycock High School and has also worked as a school counselor.