Ferrell: Recent Camden changes planned

Carlise Jackson.jpg

Camden County Schools Superintendent Joe Ferrell


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

CAMDEN — Although a number of administrative changes have occurred in the past few weeks in the Camden County Schools, Superintendent Joe Ferrell said Monday that no one change triggered the others.

Instead, it was a kind of “perfect storm” of changes that occurred all at once, he said.

For instance, he said he did not know Francesca Gantt would be leaving Camden Middle School at the time of the original reorganization. A lot of different things happened around the same time, he said, and resulted in an usually high number of administrative personnel changes in a relatively short time for a school district the size of Camden, he said.

Among recent changes in administrative positions, Yolanda Anderson, who was an assistant principal in Alamance County, has been named to the new position of chief academic officer; Amber Davis has been named principal of both Camden Early College High School and Camden County High School; Billie Berry, who had been the principal at Camden County High School, is the school district’s new chief human resources office; Marianne Russell, who previously was in charge of human resources for the school district, has been named assistant principal at Camden Middle School; Cris Fields moved from assistant principal at Camden County Middle School to assistant principal at Camden County High School; and Mike Reaves is serving as a full-time intern with Amber Davis.

In addition, Francesca Gantt, who was the principal at Camden County Middle School this past school year, has taken a position in Caswell County. Camden County Schools has posted an advertisement for the Camden Middle principal position.

The one principal setup for both high schools with Amber Davis presiding over both Camden Early College and Camden County High School is envisioned as a one-year plan.

Ferrell explained that school officials want to spend some time in the coming year with Davis leading a process to figure out how the Camden Early College and Camden County High School might complement each other, Ferrell said.

Both of the high schools are effective now, he said. But school officials want to be sure the two schools complement each other in offering the best opportunities for all students, he said.

As school officials look toward the building of a new high school campus, the plan continues to be to have both the Camden Early College and Camden County High School on the same campus — most likely with the early college occupying its own wing at the new school.

Although the chief academic officer is a new position for the school district, that position and the other district-wide administrative positions are being paid for using existing funding sources from the state and federal governments. The school district is receiving the same local funding in the 2018-2019 budget year as in the previous year and also is not receiving additional funds from the state.

Ferrell said Berry is a good fit for the human resources position because he has excellent organizational skills, is good at recruiting teachers and supporting teachers, and is good at holding people accountable.

Salaries for the administrative posts include $76,242 for Davis as principal at Camden Early College and Camden County High School, $81,528 for Berry as chief human resources officer and $81,432 for Anderson as chief academic officer.