Southern Lee principal accepts district-level job

Bonnie Almond appointed academic services director
Jul. 11, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

Southern Lee High School principal Bonnie Almond will be moving into a new position within the district, effective immediately, Lee County Schools announced Wednesday.

Almond has been named the district's director of academic services, according to a prepared statement from Lee County Schools. Long-time Lee County Schools’ retired educator and administrator Gary Moore has been named Interim Principal at Southern Lee.

As part of Superintendent Andy Bryan’s initial reorganization, his former position of associate superintendent will be frozen, the statement explains, and some of that job's responsibilities will be absorbed by Almond in her new role — which will include helping to coordinate the curriculum, instruction and assessment of the educational programs of the district. This will include working alongside other curriculum and instruction directors to integrate departments, programs and initiatives. Other responsibilities of the frozen position will be divided among existing staff members.

Almond has been principal at Southern Lee since 2009. She previously served as principal and assistant principal at J. Glenn Edwards and Greenwood elementary schools, respectively. Almond began her teaching career in Henderson County Schools as a kindergarten-through-sixth-grade music specialist. Her 17-year teaching career took her through both East and West Lee middle schools as a cultural arts teacher and choral specialist, along with Floyd L. Knight/The Children's Center and Broadway Elementary School as a music specialist. Almond also held the position as technology specialist at Broadway Elementary. Combining both teaching and administrative tenures, Almond has more than 27 years invested in public education.

In announcing the move, superintendent Bryan said, “Bonnie has a unique set of leadership skills that have been honed at the elementary, middle and high school levels as a principal and teacher. These experiences will benefit teachers and students throughout our school district as we enhance and accelerate our plans to empower students for a successful future.”

As she begins the transition to her new role, Almond said, “Lee County Schools has offered me many opportunities throughout my career for which I am very thankful. I appreciate each of the individuals that have supported and believed in me as an educator. I am especially grateful for the time I have served as the principal of Southern Lee High School."

Reflecting on her experience in local education, she added, "I marvel at the way staff, students, parents, and community have come together as one to build an educational setting where learning takes place, pride and teamwork is the priority and a family atmosphere is evident every day. There could be no higher aspiration than to be a part of helping students succeed in life.

Almond said her personal goal "has always been the same, which is to serve in the district where I am most needed. At this time, I am privileged and honored to be given an opportunity to support Dr. Andy Bryan and the challenges the Lee County Schools leadership faces to continue providing a quality education for every child in the district.”

As he prepares to take the helm at Southern Lee, Moore said, “I am happy for Bonnie as she moves into this new professional opportunity. Throughout her tenure with Lee County Schools, she has done a great job and has shown tremendous leadership. It’s evident that she truly believes that children should come first, and she is very supportive of her staff in making that happen."

Going forward, Moore said, "My goal for my time at Southern Lee High School is to maintain the tradition of excellence that Bonnie and her faculty and staff have established."

"I'm looking forward to working with an excellent Southern Lee staff, an outstanding group of students, parents, and community supporters,” he said.

Moore retired as principal of J.R. Ingram, Jr. Elementary School last July, capping off a 38-year tenure with the district. He began his career in education as a health and physical education teacher at Deep River Elementary School and held the position of assistant principal at both West Lee Junior High (now West Lee Middle) and Lee County High Schools. He returned to Deep River and served as principal there for 23 years.

The search for Almond's replacement will begin immediately, according to the district.