Tarboro High School will have a new principal beginning July 1.
Michael Turner, current South Edgecombe Middle School principal, will fill the role left vacant when THS’s former principal, Dr. Lisa Cooke, retired in December 2012. The Edgecombe County Board of Education made the decision at its April 8 meeting.
Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) also announces that Darrell Richardson, who stepped in to serve as THS’s interim principal after Dr. Tom Daly vacated that position in March, will remain as assistant principal. Richardson has formerly served in the role of assistant principal at the school.
“While he (Turner) will be sorely missed at South, he will bring visionary leadership, enthusiasm and energy to THS beginning on July 1,” said Superintendent John Farrelly in an email to ECPS staff announcing Turner’s new position. “Mr. Richardson will remain at THS in the Assistant Principal role after completing his interim principal assignment through June. I believe that Mr. Turner and Mr. Richardson will make an outstanding administrative team.”
Turner began his tenure with ECPS in 2010 as the assistant principal at W.A. Pattillo School, where he also served as testing coordinator and PBIS Administrator. He left Pattillo in 2011 to assume the role of principal at South Edgecombe. Turner is the president of the Principal and Assistant Principal Association for the district, as well.
Prior to joining the staff at ECPS, Turner worked in Montgomery County Schools as an assistant principal at West Middle School and as a physical education teacher in several other counties in eastern North Carolina, as well as the assistant football coach at Catawba College.
While he is working towards a doctoral degree in educational leadership at Gardner-Webb University, Turner currently holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Pfeiffer University and a master’s degree in school administration from Gardner-Webb.
The BOE also selected a new assistant superintendent for the district. Dr. Valerie Bridges will assume the role of ECPS assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Educational Program Services Department. Bridges will begin her new position on July 1, when current assistant superintendent, Dr. Renee Franklin, leaves the district to begin her new role as superintendent for Caswell County Schools.
“Dr. Bridges is among the finest educators I have ever worked with. I am looking forward to the leadership she will provide our school community as assistant superintendent,” said Farrelly.
Bridges came to ECPS from Washington County Schools (WCS), where she served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction under Farrelly. She also filled in as the interim superintendent for WCS during their search for a new superintendent.
After a career in accounting, Bridges transitioned into the education field in 1998 upon completion of her teaching certification at Saint Augustine’s College. She started her career as a career and technical education teacher in Raleigh before being named the assistant principal at Fuquay-Varina Middle School later that same year. From 2001 until 2005, Bridges also served as the summer academy coordinator, overseeing programs such as Fast Forward Reading, implementing computer based learning systems such as SuccessMaker and Accelerated Reader, and establishing curriculum materials for the academy.
In 2005, Bridges assumed the role of principal at Jesse Wharton Elementary School in Greensboro, where she remained until 2011 when she began her tenure at WCS.
Bridges holds a doctoral degree in educational research and leadership program evaluation and a master’s degree in school administration from North Carolina State University along with a Master’s of Business Administration from UNC-Wilmington.