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Southampton High School features new leaders

Southampton High School recently experienced some changes to its administrative team and announced four new leaders in an Oct. 19 press release.

Among the recent appointments is Dr. MeChelle Blunt, who is serving as interim principal following the departure of Aronda Bell, who had served as the school’s principal for the last three years.

Culpeper County Public Schools announced Aug. 27 on its Facebook page that it was welcoming Bell as the new activities director at Eastern View High School. Bell was set to start in her new role Sept. 1.

The Southampton County Public Schools press release stated that the other three appointments to the Southampton High School administrative team included Paul Jackson, who is serving as interim assistant principal; Devonda Gary, who is serving as interim dean of students; and Alfred Charity, serving as alternative education specialist. 

Blunt joined the Southampton County Public School Division July 1 as the coordinator of federal programs and data analysis before receiving the SHS interim principal appointment. She has 16 years of experience in public school administration and 13 years in the college sector, allowing her to bring a wealth of knowledge to the school, its teachers and students and the community. 

She earned an undergraduate degree in biology at Virginia State University, a master’s degree in urban education from Norfolk State University and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech. 

Jackson has served Southampton County Public Schools as a teacher for 10 years and is bringing his relatability skills to the high school leadership team.

He is a 2004 graduate of Franklin High School, and he earned his associate degree in education from Paul D. Camp Community College in May 2008. Then he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in Asian studies from Old Dominion University in May 2010. In December 2020, he graduated from the University of Phoenix with his master’s in education administration and supervision. 

Gary was previously a counselor at Southampton High. She has an educational specialist degree in administration and supervision from Longwood University. She has served the Southampton County school system for 16 years, with a total of 25 years in education.

She brings her knowledge of working with students who have individualized needs to the SHS leadership team.

Charity has been in the education field for more than 19 years. He also served as a logistics specialist in the military for five years. 

As the alternative education specialist, Charity will continue the daily operations of the Fresh Start Alternative Center, monitor and evaluate the use of Plato Courseware as a distance learning tool, train and assist facilitators with the operation of Plato at the middle and high schools, direct the Individual Student Alternative Education Plan program and ensure that students are in attendance and prepared to complete their General Educational Development. 

Charity brings personalized flexibility to the leadership team. 

“At the Southampton County Public School Division, we are deliberate in implementing our mission of ensuring a quality education in a safe environment that will prepare students to be successful learners and productive citizens in an ever-changing society,” SCPS Interim Director of Human Resources and Marketing Debra Hicks stated in the release. “Leaders such as those mentioned above make our mission of providing a quality yet cutting-edge experience focused on 21st century learning skills more realistic and practical for all students.”