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FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2007

Board names first principal for Priceville Junior High

By Bayne Hughes 340-2432

The Morgan County school board promoted from within Thursday when it approved teacher Mary Speegle as the first principal of the newly formed Priceville Junior High.

The board split Priceville High into a sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade school and a grades 9-12 high school at its June 14 meeting. Superintendent Bob Balch said he chose Speegle because he and Director of Secondary Education Vicki Smith rated her the highest of the five candidates during interviews. He said they ranked the applicants on areas like decision-making, finances, leadership, discipline and curriculum.

"She's been a terrific teacher for 20 years, and I think she's going to be excellent at establishing tradition, pride and an identity for the junior high students," Balch said.

Speegle, who spent 16 years at Brewer High before moving to Priceville four years ago, said the promotion was a surprise. She said she didn't know she got the job until she got to Thursday's called meeting.

"I'm very excited because I've got a lot of ideas on some changes I'd like to make," Speegle said. "I want to unite the faculty and get more parental involvement."

Speegle said she really wants to help the junior high students develop an identity.

"They've always been a part of the high school and they never had their own pep rallies. The eighth-graders never had a chance to feel like they were leaders of the school," she said.

A native of Somerville and 1983 Brewer High graduate, Speegle is married to Terry Speegle.

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