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North Johnston High has interim principal

Posted on January 10, 2022

Updated on January 15, 2022

Top newsEducationLocal news

From staff reports

Avery

Avery

North Johnston High School principal Tol Avery has taken a job in the school system's central office.

On Jan. 5, the Johnston County Board of Education named Avery the manager of safety and COVID-19 response, a new position in the schools.

In transferring Avery, the school board also named an interim principal for North Johnston. He is David L. Hawks, who was most recently principal of the Durham School of the Arts.

In 2021, ABC11 reported, the Durham Public Schools Board of Education fired Hawks after some parents complained that he meted out harsher discipline to Black and Latino students than to whites. Other parents defended the principal of the highly regarded school.

If Hawks’ depature from Durham bothered Johnston school leaders, they did not voice their concerns publicly on Jan. 5. Most of the meeting was behind closed doors, and the decision to hire Hawks was unanimous.

Likewise, the board was united in its decision to transfer Avery to the central office.

“We have been searching for several months now for a safety and COVID-19 response manager,” Brian Vetrano, the school system’s personnel chief, told the board after it emerged from closed session. “We appreciate Mr. Avery’s service, obviously, at North Johnston High School (and are) excited about him transitioning into this role.”

Schools spokeswoman Caitlin Furr called the transfer a lateral move for Avery, who will earn the same salary he earned as principal at North Johnston.

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