DPS principal takes job in Georgia

Oct. 31, 2013 @ 09:53 AM

Principal Valerie Griffin Andrews is leaving W.G. Pearson Magnet Middle School next month to take a job in Georgia.

Andrews, whose last day is Nov. 11, has led the school since 2007 when W.G. Pearson, a former elementary school, reopened as a middle school with an arts and humanities theme.

Andrews' departure comes as the school prepares to close at the end of the current school year.

School officials have determined that the school, located at 600 East Umstead, is no longer an adequate educational facility.

“We’ve seen a lot of success here,” Andrews said in an interview Wednesday. “We hate to see it close.”

The school is serving 79 eighth-graders in its last year of operation.

Andrews said the remaining eight-graders are all students who have attended the school since sixth grade.

“Their parents trusted us and kept them here even when they could have gone elsewhere,” Andrews said. “I thought that was phenomenal.”

She said the school still receives calls from parents asking how to enroll their child in the magnet program.

“It’s just been awesome here,” Andrews said.

On Tuesday, Durham Public Schools administrators named former assistant superintendent and principal Eunice O. Sanders interim principal of W.G. Pearson Middle School effective Nov. 12.

Sanders retired after serving as assistant superintendent of student support services from June 2009 to March 2012.

She served previously as principal of Hillside High School, Rogers-Herr Middle School and C.C. Spaulding Biosphere Magnet Elementary School.