HUNTINGTON - The Cabell County Board of Education made three leadership hires for the coming school year - including naming a permanent hire for principal of Meadows Elementary School - during its regular meeting Tuesday in Huntington.
The vacancy came after the board voted unanimously to fire former Meadows principal Connie Mize at its May 21 meeting, coming in the wake of a school intruder incident in January.
Amy Maynard, currently the assistant principal at Milton Elementary School, is slated to be hired as Meadows' next principal. Maynard is in her 25th year with Cabell County, previously serving as a district-wide curriculum supervisor, assistant principal at Huntington High School and as a classroom teacher.
Mize had been on paid suspension since Jan. 17 following a Jan. 16 incident in which a man who was being pursued by police was allowed into the school during class hours.
In February, Meadows' PTO submitted a no-confidence petition to the board critical of Mize's leadership. Mize was replaced for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year by substitute Principal Mary Campbell.
"I'm excited to get started building relationships with the students, their families and the staff," Maynard said.
"My goal is to grow a collaborative culture through open and honest communication. Meadows should be a positive place where everyone gathers with a focus on the success of students."
In other moves, Culloden Elementary School Principal Heather Scarberry was hired as the county's director of special education at the district's central office. Scarberry is in her 21st year with Cabell County Schools, and has served as assistant principal at Milton Elementary, a district instructional coach and a classroom teacher.
"It's a big responsibility, but I feel like this is a unique opportunity to serve the families of Cabell County," Scarberry said. "For me, special education means meeting students where they are and giving them what they need to move forward."
Scarberry replaces Karen Veazey, who retired from the position after 37 years in Cabell County Schools.
Mary Svingos, currently an instructional guide at Explorer Academy, will remain at the school as its new assistant principal. Svingos is in her 19th year with Cabell County Schools, and has been a classroom teacher in five schools in West Virginia and South Carolina.
"I am so excited to start my administrative journey at Explorer Academy," Svingos said. "As a current staff member, I am fully invested in the progress we're making and want to see the continued academic growth of students and their impact on the community."
In coaching hires, J.J. Martin was named Cabell Midland High School's next basketball coach. Martin replaces Rick Chaffin, who resigned last month to step away from coaching.
In two seasons, Chaffin led the Knights to a 27-21 record. After going 8-13 in 2017-18, Cabell Midland doubled its win total of the previous season by going 19-8 in 2018-19 and winning the Region IV championship.
In other business, the board unanimously voted to rename the Cabell County Alternative School as Crossroads Academy.
Principal Brenda Scott told the board at the June 4 meeting that "alternative school" has a negative connotation, and she would rather have a title to reflect a more positive attitude. Crossroads Academy was the name agreed upon by the school itself.
The board echoed Scott's sentiment of renaming the school to reflect the positive work they do in approving the name change.
Located at the district's central office in the former Huntington East High School, the alternative school accommodates in-class schooling for students who have faced disciplinary actions in other schools.
The Cabell County Board of Education meets at 5:30 p.m. every first and third Tuesday at the district's central office at 2850 5th Ave. in Huntington. Meetings are always open to the public.