Carver Elementary School’s current Assistant Principal Crystal Morales is stepping up to take over as principal starting for the 2008-2009 school year.
The announcement came during a recent Board of Education meeting. Morales said she first began filling in under the role of principal when the late Joye Johnson took time off of work in January.
"Truthfully, she was such a great person and administrator, we just continue doing what she would expect us to do; continuing our daily activities as she ran them," Morales said. "Carver runs very smoothly because it is team oriented. I think people in the community have a positive outlook about the school and our faculties really appreciate the way we treat the kids, respect one another and work together."
Morales, who met Johnson when she first arrived in Bryan County in the early 90’s, said they always had an equal work relationship.
"It was never that she was my ‘boss’ – we were always ‘co-workers.’ I plan to carry on doing what she would have us to do. She pretty much set it on auto pilot for us; things tend to run smoothly," Morales said.
But the 2007-2008 school year didn’t go without pressures. Morales noted Carver had a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools review, which happens every five years, as well as school council and PTSO elections.
"It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and challenges," she said. "The biggest thing was (Johnson’s) support. She trained me and I feel like I’ve had a great mentor. She laid a wonderful foundation."
Morales said, despite the fact that she’s now technically "at the top of the totem poll," the support of the entire faculty and staff is what makes Carver work.
"You can’t do it by yourself," she said. "If you don’t have everyone else working with you, nothing will get done. (Johnson) established a wonderful system and we have complete support from Dr. Brewer, the board and the administrators. I really appreciate, more than I could ever say, and thank them for standing beside us."
Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer said Morales proved to be the "consummate professional" when she managed Carver during Johnson’s absence.
"She led Carver through a successful SACS review. She was very much involved with every facet of school administration – from curriculum to transportation – as assistant principal, and I look forward to a successful 2008-2009 with Mrs. Morales as principal. The Carver faculty respects her, and she in turn has always given the credit for what she accomplishes to those she works with."
Morales went to Georgia Southern University and taught first in Liberty County. In 1987, she started coaching and teaching physical education at Richmond Hill Elementary School. She became assistant principal at Carver three years ago.
"I’ve had a fabulous situation. Bryan County has been very good to me," she said, noting Johnson helped to lay out her career path. "She gently pushed me. She knew I needed to do this…She was such a generous, kind, wonderful and respectful person. If I can do even just a little bit of what she did, it’ll be good. I have big shoes to fill."
Richmond Hill High School physical education teacher Jodi Reagan is slated to transfer to Carver to take over the assistant principal position starting in the upcoming school year.
In other business:
- Mitizi Cross, who graduated this year from Bryan County High School was recognized as the Athlete of the Month. "We’re going to greatly miss her, she’s been a joy," Principal Harold Roach said. "She’s going on to wonderful things and we’re very proud of her."
- Geoffrey Sorrell was also recognized by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy and the U.S. Department of the Treasure for scoring in the top 25th percentile of high school students nationwide who took the National Financial Literacy Challenge. Sorrell could not be at the meeting to accept his award because he is in boot camp this summer preparing for military service, Brewer said.
- The board approved several donations: $900 for a visit and program to be presented at Richmond Hill Primary School by children’s author Mike Thayler; $6,000 for electronic response systems for Richmond Hill Elementary School classrooms; $320 from S&K Menswear to Richmond Hill High School for the Prom Rep Program, where $5 is donated to the school every time a student rents a tux for the prom; and the board approved a $30,000 donation by the Gridiron Association for a new scoreboard at RHHS.