Middle School principal Wendell Benningfield announced his resignation last week, bookending a school year that also saw Wynn Harris request reassignment from his post of middle school assistant principal after the fall semester.
Harris worked in his post for one semester; Benningfield worked in his for two years.
Benningfield’s departure means only one current principal will be returning next year, when the school system will feature four principals.
Elementary principal Ann Taylor will serve as principal for either the new Primary or Intermediate school. High school principal Sharon Knight announced her retirement earlier this year.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Superintendent Tim McGinnis said, to “bring in a good fit to bring a good program to greatness.”
Though Knight’s pending retirement only became official within the last month, McGinnis had been aware of her plans for most of this school year. The High School Site Based Decision Making Council has already completed principal-selection training, outlined its list of desirable candidate qualities and is now sorting through applications.
McGinnis, however, only received Benningfield’s letter of resignation Tuesday, April 25.
“We don’t want to rush [the replacement process,]” McGinnis said — adding, however, “We’ll move fairly aggressively.
“I think it’s important we move forward in a timely matter.”
As part of moving forward, the middle school SBDM, as well as the newly formed Primary and Intermediate schools’ councils, will undergo principal-selection training this week, as required by state law.
McGinnis said Benningfield, who lives in Murray, cited a desire to spend more time with his family in his letter of resignation. Benningfield did not return a message left in his voicemail by The Cadiz Record.
“I’ve always encouraged my colleagues to do what’s best for them,” McGinnis said. “They need to be where their heart is.”
McGinnis said he and Benningfield had spoke a couple of times in the weeks leading to Benningfield’s resignation, though he added he was “surprised” when he received Benningfield’s letter.
“I don’t think people really realize the hard work and long hours of a public school principal,” McGinnis said.
Benningfield’s predecessor, said McGinnis, also left after a two-year stint.
“I am concerned with the turnover we’ve had,” McGinnis said. “It’s hard to sustain success when you have a lot of turnover.”
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.