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New principal at China Grove Middle

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
EAST SPENCER — The current principal at Uwharrie Middle School will take over to top spot at China Grove Middle this fall.
Linda Johnson will replace Dr. James Davis, who is making the move to Knox Middle School.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted to hire Johnson during an emergency meeting Tuesday. She was chosen from among four finalists for the position.
“From what I hear she sounds like a female version of Dr. Davis,” board chairman Dr. Jim Emerson said. “I think she will be successful … she is coming to us with a great deal of enthusiasm.”
Before serving at Uwharrie Middle for seven years, Johnson worked as the assistant principal at West Henderson High and Waynesville Middle. She was also the AIG (academically and intellectually gifted) specialist at Erwin Middle before becoming an administrator.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in middle school math education and a master’s in administration from Western Carolina University.
Uwharrie Middle had the highest end-of-grade test scores in reading, math and science throughout the past three years, according to Johnson’s resume.
“She has good credentials from what I can see,” school board member Mike Caskey said. “I think she’s going to do a good job.”
Johnson said in her cover letter that she has reviewed the school’s data and hopes to build on its success.
“I also saw several areas that seem to be ready for growth,” she wrote. “One is the building of teacher leaders and sharing of the leadership of the school.
“My philosophy of leadership is that we work as a team.”
China Grove Middle met Adequate Yearly Progress, the federal government’s measure of progress of different groups of students at the school, district and state levels against an annual target in reading and math, for the first time under two years ago under Davis’ leadership.
Johnson said in her cover letter she feels “called” to serve at the middle school level.
“It certainly is where my heart is,” she wrote.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

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