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James J. Davis Elementary School principal Larkin Hancock announced his retirement two weeks ago due to ongoing health problems.
Hancock had been in and out of the office over the past year due to poor health, school officials said. Frankie Middleton, a district leadership coach and former Shell Point Elementary School principal, will serve as interim principal until the district hires a permanent replacement.
The district will begin advertising the Davis opening next week, said John Williams, district spokesman. Hancock, 41, was named principal in 1999.Dionne Salters, president of the school's Parent-Teacher Organization, said she has known Hancock since he was hired.
"He's very enthusiastic about incorporating new ideas and curriculums to increase the study habits of the children," she said. "I have seen a big change since he's been here as far as motivating the faculty and staff."
The district will begin working with Davis Elementary's School Improvement Council this spring and summer to help build a profile of the kind of principal that parents would like to see as a permanent replacement, he said.
Hancock could not be reached for comment.
This district has already advertised an upcoming opening at Coosa Elementary School, where principal Cindy Keener has said she will retire at year's end.
Keener, whose final day is June 30, said she vowed to retire after 30 years. This year is her 33rd as an educator. She has been principal at Coosa Elementary for 10 years and joined the district in 1986 as a teacher at Mossy Oaks Elementary School.
Keener said she expects a permanent replacement to begin immediately after she leaves.
"It's been a good 10 years," she said. "It's been very fulfilling and rewarding. I've seen a lot of children and families progress. It's a wonderful job being an elementary school principal."