Friday, July 19, 2013
The students at Waccamaw Middle School will be greeted by a new principal when they return to class next month.
Jamie Curry, who has been assistant principal at Waccamaw High School for three years, has been promoted to the WMS principal’s position, at least on an interim basis.
The decision to place Curry as head of the school was made last week after the sudden resignation of Mark Phillips, who had held the position only one year.
Curry’s experience in the education field has included work in both the teaching and administrative sides.
She began her career in 1993 as a teacher at Maryville Elementary School where, in 1996, she was named the school’s Teacher of the Year.
She later transferred to Georgetown Middle School where she taught eighth-grade South Carolina history. In 2004, she was named the District Teacher of the Year.
Curry, in an interview this week, said getting the call that she was being offered the new job was a “pretty big surprise.”
She had applied for the job, and was one of the finalists, last year when Phillips was chosen.
“It is an honor and a privilege” to get the job, Curry said.
Dozier said when he received Phillips resignation, he knew he did not have time to go through the normal hiring process and have a principal in place before the start of the new school year. So, he pulled out the applications submitted last year and knew Curry was suited for the job.
“She has had a good career and is a good employee,” Dozier said, adding he had positive response from teachers when he spoke with them about offering the job to Curry.
He said the school board will decide later whether to remove the word “interim” from her title or search for a new principal.
Curry said WMS has “an awesome staff” and she knows they will have everything ready for students to return.
Phillips was hired as principal of Waccamaw Middle in June 2012. Earlier this month he submitted his resignation.
Dozier would not say if Phillips gave a reason for his resignation.
According to documents from the U.S. District Court in Florence, Phillips pleaded guilty in June 1997 to a felony charge of “fraud by wire, radio or television.”
According to the documents, Phillips “knowingly and willfully did devise and intend to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.”
In October 1997 he was sentenced, according to the documents, to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
Dozier was asked Tuesday if he knew about Phillip’s record when he was hired.
“I am not getting into that,” Dozier replied. “I have resignations all the time. He resigned and I wish him well. I am going to focus on where we are and am looking ahead.”
The Georgetown Times attempted to reach Phillips by telephone and email but was unsuccessful.
By Scott Harper