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FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2007
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Decatur school board makes interim principal permanent at Austinville

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

The Decatur school board removed the interim tag and promoted Beth Hales to Austinville Elementary principal at a called meeting Thursday.

Hales served as interim principal last year when Rhonda Reese moved to Walter Jackson Elementary to fill in for Jamie Heim, who was on medical leave. Heim retired and Reese's move to Walter Jackson became permanent in May.

Hales officially returned to her former kindergarten position before the board made the promotion official Thursday. She was one of three applicants for the position. Houston commended Hales for the way she handled her interim tag "when the terms acting or interim have a temporary/short-term connotation. During the past year, Beth did an outstanding job in the interim role of handling her instruction and management duties."

Hales admitted "it's a good feeling" that the superintendent and board have enough confidence in her to make her position permanent. While she tried to continue the things that Reese began, she said being interim was a challenge.

"This gives to me the opportunity to take my job a step further and push to provide the best for the classroom," she said.

Hales said she doesn't plan to make any changes, but she does have some things, like building an outdoor classroom and a greenhouse, that she wants to accomplish.

She began her career at Chestnut Grove Elementary in 1993 and moved to Austinville in 2002 to help start the pre-kindergarten program.

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