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Chambers County School District makes three hires

LaFAYETTE — The Chambers County School District honored administrators retiring and students graduating this past week, and now, the district is now tasked with finding replacements for those moving on in the administration office and inside the schools.

At the May 15 board meeting, the school district hired Jennifer Lynn Goodwin as Bob Harding Shawmut Elementary School’s newest principal.

Goodwin has served as the assistant principal at South Smiths Station Elementary School since 2015. From 1994 to 2015, she was a kindergarten and second-grade teacher at Five Points Elementary and LaFayette Lanier Elementary Schools.

Chambers County School District Superintendent Kelli Hodge said Goodwin has 25 years of experience. The last four years she has served as an assistant principal of about 1,000 students.

“With that type of experience, she seemed to be the solution for the position,” Hodge said.

Goodwin will replace Allison Burton, who is retiring.

Additionally, the district’s newest transportation director is Benji Mitchum, who has served as Huguley Elementary School’s principal since 2013.

Hodge said she felt like having administration experience was important when coming to a central office position. In addition to serving as Hughley Elementary’s principal, Mitchum was the Valley High School assistant principal from 2011 to 2013.

Hodge said Mitchum will be paid a salary of $77,000 and will begin work on Aug. 1, so he will have time to work with the outgoing director, Mike Frazier, who is retiring.

A third hire made by the board was Fran Groover as director of special education. Groover is leaving her post as Fairfax Elementary School principal since 2006 to move to the central office.

Hodge said there aren’t very many people who have special education director experience and administrative experience.

“We felt having administrative experience was helpful but also the demonstration of leadership this person has shown over the years,” Hodge said.

Groover will be paid a salary of $87,000, Hodge said. She will replace Diane Sherriff, who is retiring after 25 years.

The board is expected to take recommendations from Hodge for principals at Huguley Elementary School and Fairfax Elementary School Wednesday at a 4 p.m. board meeting.