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Bragg promoted to SCHS assistant principal

Lydia Bragg for the past 22 years has taught mathematics at Screven County High School and has served as the SCHS department chair since 2008. Bragg also taught at Georgia Southern University for two years.
With her new position of assistant principal at the high school, Bragg now will be counted on to handle various new roles for grades nine through 12. Bragg was promoted Monday evening upon the approval of the Screven County School Board at its monthly meeting.
“We are real excited Lydia is assuming this position,” said Superintendent William Bland. “She has been very loyal and dedicated to the Screven County community and its students. We look forward to her being in this administrative role.”
The SCHS assistant principal position became open when Tracy Mills announced her resignation to accept another job in a different school system. Mills was employed with the county school system for 18 years and served as a SCHS assistant principal for the past six years.
“We are very sad to see Tracy go,” Bland said. “We wish her success in the future.”
To afford Bragg the opportunity to move into the assistant principal role, SCHS veteran teacher Lynn Brinson will head back to the classroom from her retirement to teach two math classes. Brinson, who has taught in the school system for 32 years, will be paid 33 1/3 percent of her regular salary, while the remainder will be come from the teachers retirement fund.
Brinson’s return also was approved by the BOE at the July 14 meeting. Chairman Lindy Sheppard abstained from the vote as Brinson is Sheppard’s sister.
“I am very appreciative of the support that I have already received from the staff at SCHS, past students, parents, family members, and community members as I begin this new journey in my teaching career,” Bragg said. “The exiting assistant principal, Tracy Mills, has been invaluable in assisting me in preparing for the upcoming school year. I love Screven County and Screven County High School. I have a definite learning curve ahead of me to do this job, but I can promise that I will do my very best for our school.”
Bragg said she believes her experience as the department chair for mathematics at the high school helped prepare her for her new responsibilities.
“Some of my duties included heading up meetings, working with administration on budget and purchase orders, assigning classes to teachers and disseminating information to the math department,” Bragg said. “I also served as the math department representative of the Focused Instruction Team that is a group of counselors, administrators, and teachers from different departments. Because of this team I had the opportunity to do peer observations and was involved in more school decisions rather than just the math department.”
Bragg said the teachers, administrators, counselors and secretarial staff work together for the ultimate goal to help students and to support each other.  
“I think that all of these people work extremely hard to make our school successful,” she said. “Over the past few years, we have tried to improve the overall climate for the students and staff of SCHS. I think some of the ideas we implemented have helped contribute to the success of our school. We will continue to work together to look for things to help our school be successful.”
With her job as assistant principal, Bragg said her main responsibilities will be curriculum, instruction and testing. She also will have to be present at many of the extracurricular events and handle some student discipline when necessary.  
“(Principal) Brian Scott, (assistant principal) Todd Wall and I plan on working together as a team to ensure we are making decisions that are best for the entire school. I do not think that I can say it enough that we all greatly value all the other members of the Screven County High School staff,” Bragg said.
The naming of Bragg to the SCHS assistant principal position was part of a busy three months of administrative changes within the school district.
In April, Screven County Elementary School principal Becky Martin announced her retirement as of the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Brett Warren, the high school principal, would be transferred to the elementary school to succeed Martin.
The newly created principal vacancy at the high school would be filled by Scott, who was transferred from being the middle school principal to the same role at the high school.
The opening at the middle school started a search for a successor that led to Dr. Robert (Bobby) Costlow, who most recently was an assistant principal at Statesboro High School.
Additionally, Misty Duncan, an elementary school fourth grade teacher during the 2013-2014 school term, was promoted to an assistant principal position at SCES. Duncan would become the third assistant principal at the school after the third assistant position at the elementary school was reinstated after being dropped from the payroll during the district’s system-wide 2009-2010 school year reduction in force as state education funding was cut.
Also, Wanda Parrish, an assistant principal at the middle school, had a reassignment of her responsibilities as she will split time during the 2014-2015 year between SCMS and the central office.
Scott returns to the high school after serving as SCHS assistant principal for five years from 2007 to 2012 before his promotion to middle school principal.
“She has been a part of the SCHS family for quite a while,” said Scott of Bragg. “Lydia knows the high school curriculum very well. She has always been a teacher leader when it comes to curriculum and learning and this will help her transition into her new role very well.
“Lydia’s knowledge of the high school curriculum and the fact that she has been so involved in many areas of SCHS certainly went into her being named the assistant principal,” Scott said. “She knows exactly what needs to be done at the high school in all areas.”
While Scott was pleased to have a person of the caliber of Bragg advance into the assistant principal position, he credited Mills on how much she meant to the high school.
“I hate to see Tracy go,” Scott said. “She is very knowledgeable about the curriculum in all grades and subject areas. Tracy has been an integral part of the success at SCHS in the last few years. She truly cares about students and seeing them succeed.”
Most recently the high school achieved an 82.5 score which was 10.5 points above the state average for the College and Career Ready Performance Index, or CCRPI, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress.
Warren said Mills was an “outstanding administrator and outstanding person.”
“She was an integral part of a lot of the improvements we made and she will be missed,” said Warren, who served as an assistant principal for five years and principal at the high school for 10 years. “I know Lydia Bragg. I have worked well with her and I feel the high school is in very good hands with a solid administrative team.”