Knox principal resigns
By Noelle Edwards and Scott Jenkinsnedwards@salisburypost.com
Knox Middle School Principal Gerald MoragneEl will leave his post later this month.
MoragneEl submitted his resignation Tuesday afternoon, Rowan-Salisbury School System spokeswoman Rita Foil said.
“He resigned for personal reasons is what the resignation said,” Foil said Thursday.
MoragneEl could not be reached at the school Thursday and there is no local telephone listing for him.
Knox staff members were notified Wednesday of MoragneEl’s impending departure, Foil said.
Several parents at a PTA meeting Thursday evening had not heard the news. Others knew of the resignation but said they heard through the rumor mill and not from the school.
Assistant principal Lisa Mays took care of arrangements for Thursday’s PTA meeting. She said she did not plan to announce the resignation at the meeting. She declined to answer other questions.
Kinya Tillman, whose daughter is a sixth- grade student at Knox, said she had been to visit the school Thursday at lunch and hadn’t heard a word about it.
Yvonne Hawkins, who has a student in seventh grade and a student in eighth grade, also hadn’t heard the news.
She teared up as she talked about him.
“He has a humble spirit,” she said. “He’s always available to talk to. … We need him. We do.”
Two parents who asked that they not be named said they thought MoragneEl had done a good job at Knox but that some people didn’t think so.
“I really thought he was doing what needed to be done at Knox,” one of the parents said.
“He’s made some great strides and effort here at Knox,” said Tori Sweeting, a parent with a student at Knox and PTA treasurer. “It’s a sad, sad day.”
Assistant principal Terrence Snider said he didn’t know why MoragneEl resigned. He told a Post reporter to stop talking to parents at the school about the issue.
MoragneEl will continue at the school through Sept. 22, Foil said. On Sept. 23, Larry Brown will take over as interim principal.
Brown is a longtime Rowan-Salisbury school administrator. He served as North Rowan Middle’s principal for a number of years before retiring. He worked part time as an assistant principal at Bostian Elementary School until the end of the 2008-2009 school year.
Foil said Tina Mashburn, Rowan-Salisbury’s director of middle schools, and assistant superintendents Delores Morris and Walter Hart will work closely with Brown until the district names a permanent replacement for MoragneEl.
They won’t be at the school daily, but Foil said the district wants to assure parents who might be concerned about a change in leadership at the beginning of the school year that Brown will have “plenty of administrative support to make sure there’s a smooth transition until a new principal is named.”
Mashburn has already been working with the school to help resolve scheduling problems. Hart is the direct supervisor for the Knox principal. And Morris oversees human resources for the district and will oversee the process of hiring MoragneEl’s successor.
The process of selecting a new Knox principal will begin immediately. Other principals in the system will have an opportunity to request a transfer to the school and, if any do, Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom may select one of them to lead Knox, Foil said.
If a new principal is not selected from within the school system, the position will be advertised for 10 days. Finalists will be interviewed and the timing of putting a new principal in place will depend on who district officials hire, Foil said.
MoragneEl has been principal at Knox for a little more than a year, and before that he was an assistant principal there for almost a year.