Maxwell announces resignation; Carter, Derricotte to serve as co-interim principals

On Thursday, October 17, Cedar Shoals Principal Derrick Maxwell announced his resignation in an email to the Cedar community. 

“It is with mixed emotions that I write you to announce my resignation from Cedar Shoals effective October 29, 2019,” Maxwell wrote. 

At a faculty meeting October 22, Superintendent Dr. Demond Means and Chief Human Resources Officer Lynn Duke announced the new interim principals as well as the plan to hire a permanent principal eventually. 

District Announces Interims: Lynn Duke announces the new 2019-20 interim principals to the Cedar Shoals staff. “Well officially the word came Tuesday, they had already met with us on Monday afternoon and said that it was a great possibility that this may happen, but the official word came through Tuesday,” Derricotte said.
Photo and caption by Coriander McGreevy.

“We’ve identified the associate principals because they take on extra duties and extra responsibilities. With that being the case, we will have co-interim principals, those will be Mr. Tony Derricotte and Mr. Aaron Carter,” Means said to the faculty. 

Duke said a viable candidate is, “Professionally mature enough to handle the role and that they don’t have ethics issues.”

According to Means, Mr. Derricotte will focus on operations, while Mr. Carter will focus on instruction. 

“Mr. Carter and myself still need to work in unison with one another to make sure we are on the same page and in sync with everything,” Mr. Derricotte said. 

Carter and Derricotte will begin their positions on October 30. 

“I love Cedar Shoals, and I’m really, really excited about the work ahead,”Mr. Carter said. 

Means is optimistic about their capability to serve as interim principals. 

“I believe we have capable educators who can fill the void and make sure that we continue to operate effectively,” Means said. “I have the fullest confidence in both individuals to continue to do the work.”

If the district fails to find a permanent principal by the end of the 2019-20 school year, the co-interim principals will finish out the year. 

In order to find a permanent principal, the Local School Governance Team will serve as the committee for the first round of interviews. After community and faculty informational meetings, the LSGT will work with Duke to develop interview questions,  screen candidates and conduct interviews. The LSGT will then select finalists to send to district level interviews. 

To supplement the loss of an administrator mid-year, the district will develop a new administrative position: Dean of students. 

“In regards to what a Dean of Students would do, they would work with student discipline, they would make sure that protocols and systems are in place to make sure that safety is paramount and happening in our schools. So in essence they will be doing the role and fulfilling the role of an assistant principal,” said Means. 

Maxwell’s final day will be on October 29. After this Mr. Derricotte and Mr. Carter will take over as the interim principals.