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Knox Middle gets new principal

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com
L. Rodney Burton says he’s looking forward to being the new principal at Knox Middle School.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” he says.
Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education members voted unanimously at their work session Monday evening to hire Burton to replace Gerald MoragneEl, who resigned Sept. 8 for personal reasons. Burton was recommended from about 13 applicants interviewed by a committee of school personnel, teachers and parents.
He will take over the helm at Knox next Monday. Burton, 47, just started his seventh year as assistant principal at North Rowan Middle, a position he has held since 2003. He was selected as the 2006-2007 Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year.
Burton worked in the Davidson County Schools from 1988 through 2003, his first two years as a high school in-school suspension coordinator, head wrestling coach, assistant football coach and assistant baseball coach. He spent the next 13 years working at two Davidson County middle schools, teaching primarily math and social studies but also language arts and science.
Burton served as assistant football coach and assistant wrestling coach of one school and athletics director and head football coach of the other.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Catawba College in 1984, then went on to earn a master’s in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1989 and a master’s in school administration from Gardner-Webb University in 2004.
Though he had always wanted to be a teacher, Burton says it wasn’t until he served as a volunteer coach in Davidson County that he “got hooked” on working with students.
Delores Morris, assistant superintendent of human resources for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools, called Burton after Monday’s board meeting to tell him he had been selected as Knox’s new principal.
Burton says he is excited about meeting the students, staff and parents.
“There’s a great community at Knox,” he says. “Our doors are going to be open and welcoming to people. We’re going to do everything that’s right for the kids and make sure they grow and learn and get what they need.”
Burton and his wife, Lee Ann, live in Thomasville with their 11-year-old son, Joshua. They attend the First United Methodist Church there, where Burton serves as nurturing ministries coordinator.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.

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