Wake begins Athens Drive principal search after Crockett announces retirement

sbarr@newsobserver.comNovember 18, 2013 

William Crockett

— Wake County school officials have begun the search for a new principal at Athens Drive High School.

Principal William Crockett, who has led the school since 2006 and worked in education for more than 40 years, announced earlier this month that he would retire at the end of 2013.

Officials held meetings earlier this week where students, faculty, staff and other community members could weigh in with the characteristics they would like to see in a new principal.

The input will be used to develop a principal profile and a list of questions and issues to be used during the search and selection process.

Paulette Carrieri, president of the PTSA at Athens Drive, said Crockett is well-liked with a leadership style that fits the school.

“I think it’s going to be hard to replace Mr. Crockett,” she said.

Once an applicant has been selected, Superintendent Jim Merrill will present the choice to the Wake County school board, which will vote on the candidate.

School board member Jim Martin, who represents the area, said the future principal should be one who not only understands a large high school but also can deal with sharing a library with the county and hosting continuing education programs on campus.

“You need somebody who understands large, complex organizations and will proactively work with all of those constituencies,” he said.

Martin also said it’s important not to rush the selection process. An interim principal would be preferable to hiring someone too quickly who proves to be a poor fit.

“You don’t want to take the quick and easy,” he said.

As for Crockett, he said the time was right to retire. He joined Wake schools in 1980 as an English teacher at Enloe High School, where he also coached track, football and baseball.

From there, he worked as an assistant principal at Cary High School. He began his work as a principal at Carnage Middle in 1991, followed by stints at East Garner Elementary, Holly Ridge Middle and then Athens Drive.

Crockett said he’s looking forward to volunteering in the community after a period of traveling and relaxing with his family.

Barr: 919-836-4952

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