I-SS announces principal changes

Pictured above: (L-R) Ralph Bentley, Jr, Marlene Scott, Ellyn Gaither, Jennifer Dalton, and Benjamin Johnson – Picture courtesy of Iredell-Statesville Schools


STATESVILLE, N.C. (July 9, 2018)— At the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, the Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education approved the appointment of one principal and 5 assistant principal candidates along with the transfer of seven assistant principals to new locations.

Ellyn Gaither will take over as principal of West Iredell High School where she currently serves as the interim principal. She will step up to this role permanently to fill the vacancy created when Gordon Palmer left in June to take a position as the principal at Alexander Central High School in Alexander County. Gaither brings almost 24 years of experience in public education. She received her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University and holds a master’s degree in school administration from Gardner Webb University.

In addition to Gaither, West Iredell High School will also be welcoming three new assistant principals. Ralph Bentley, Jr. who currently serves as an Exceptional Children’s teacher at North Iredell High School and has worked in public education for over 26 years will fill one of those positions. Benjamin Johnson will join him by leaving his current position as a social studies teacher at the school. Johnson comes to his position with 16 years of experience. Marlene Scott will complete the leadership team by moving from her current position as a Language Arts teacher at West Iredell Middle School. Scott brings over 22 years of experience.

Jennifer Dalton, who is no stranger to the district, has been named an assistant principal at Third Creek Elementary School. Dalton returns to Iredell-Statesville Schools from Catawba County Schools where she currently served as an assistant principal. She has worked in public education for 19 years.

New to the district, Russell Donnelly has been named an assistant principal at South Iredell High School. Donnelly has served as a science teacher and has worked his way up through the ranks of administration before retiring as a principal with Polk County Schools in Florida. He brings over 30 years of experience to his job.

Several assistant principals will be welcomed to new campuses this school year.

  • Dr. Misty Basham will move from Woodland Heights Elementary to a shared position by South Iredell High School and Mt. Mourne, an IBO World School
  • Harry Efird will move from Statesville High School to Brawley Middle School
  • Gregory Keys will move from Brawley Middle School to N.B. Mills Elementary School
  • Kristie Love will move from West Iredell Middle School to East Iredell Elementary School
  • Stephen Chad Parker will move from South Iredell High School to Statesville High School
  • Joseph Robertson will move from Third Creek Elementary to West Iredell Middle School
  • Nicole Tilley will move from N. B. Mills Elementary School to Woodland Heights
    Elementary School

“We are very pleased to announce the addition of our newest school-based leaders in Iredell- Statesville Schools,” said Superintendent Brady Johnson. “The district is fortunate to attract dynamic, student-focused leaders of this caliber. We look forward to working with each of these individuals during the years ahead to continue the mission of providing an exceptional educational experience for our children.”

Each of these administrative appointments will begin their new roles effective July 16, 2018.

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