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New principal ready to “roll up sleeves and go to work”

By Kay S. Pedrotti Dr. David Boland, chosen as the new principal at Lamar County high school, said ‘I am ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work,’ after his unanimous appointment at a called meeting of the board of education last Tuesday. Boland is presently serving his fifth year as principal at Cook County Middle School in Adel but has a background in administration at the high school level. He said he is ‘looking forward to getting back into the high school atmosphere,’ especially given Lamar County’s reputation as a welcoming community where schools emphasize well-rounded students. ’I believe in shared leadership,’ Boland said. ‘I’m anticipating a leadership team where we discuss issues and come to a team decision. The teachers will work with me, not for me.’ Among his introductory duties at Lamar High, he said, is reviewing applications for the head football coach’s position. He anticipates a decision sometime soon. Being a head football coach is more than just teaching and running games, Boland believes. He names his high school head coach, Jim Scroggins, as ‘the best Christian man I know – he is still my mentor and is still coaching at a little town in Florida, after coaching for more than 50 years.’ The decision is an important one for now and the future, he said. Boland played high school football at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Fla., and in college at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He also held an administrative post and coached football at Brantley County High School in Nahunta. Other sports he has coached include wrestling, golf and basketball, and he was advisor to a chapter of the Technology Student Association. Boland says he is honored to take the principal’s position. He loves the high school level, with lots of sports and extra-curricular activities, and appreciates the ‘higher-level education courses offered at Lamar High.’ Dr. Boland and his wife of 19 years, Stacy, plan to move to Lamar County in the months ahead and will enroll their children in Lamar County schools, said superintendent Dr. Jute Wilson. Victoria Boland is now a sophomore and Bryce Boland is in eighth grade. ’You can include that we are looking for a house,’ Boland told The Herald Gazette. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, holds a master’s degree in educational technology from National University, earned his specialist degree at Albany State College and has a PhD from Trident University. Boland signed his contract just after the board meeting, effective July 1, 2016. His base salary will be $110,739.00. The amount represents some savings to the board of education because ‘having a PhD and more than 20 years of experience raises the amount of state funds for the salary,’ said Wilson. Wilson said the resignation of present principal Matt Adams ends June 30, 2016, ‘which the standard for all 12-month employees.’ Wilson said in the school system’s press release, ‘While his last seven years have been in middle school administration, Dr. Boland’s first 16 years in education were all at the high school level, as an alternative school director, summer school director, engineering and technology teacher, special education teacher and health and physical education teacher. ’During Dr. Boland’s five years at Cook Middle School, the school’s CCRPI scores have increased almost 15 percent.

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