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WS/FCS names new Atkins High School principal, other district leaders

WS/FCS names new Atkins High School principal, other district leaders
February 07
08:38 2020

Dr. Angela Hairston, superintendent of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, has named Dr. Jesse Pratt as instructional superintendent, Lauren Richards as chief operating officer for Operations, Stephanie Ward as program manager for Elementary Language Arts, and Dr. Chris Nichols as Atkins High School principal. 

Since 2018 Jesse Pratt has served as the assistant superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Services for Thomasville City Schools. Prior to that, Pratt served as the academic improvement officer and regional superintendent for Indianapolis Public Schools for three years. Earlier in his career, Pratt spent more than 12 years as principal in Guilford County serving at Dudley High School, Middle College at NC A&T State University, and Allen Middle School. From 2001 to 2003, he served as the assistant principal at Southeast Middle School in Kernersville. Pratt has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Appalachian State University and a doctor of education degree from High Point University. Pratt replaces Trish Gainey who retired in 2019. His start date has yet to be determined.

Lauren Richards currently serves as the executive director of Child Nutrition for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. She has been in that role since 2013. Prior to that, Richards spent three years in Guilford County as an operations supervisor. From 2006 to 2010, she served in a variety of roles for the ARAMARK Corporation including assistant director, retail manager and catering manager. Richards has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She replaces Wayne Loflin who is retiring. She will begin in February.

Dr. Chris Nichols has served as the principal at the WS/FCS Career Center since 2014. Prior to that he was principal at Forbush High School in Yadkin County for four years. For 10 years, Nichols was an assistant principal spending time at both Parkland High School and Paisley IB Magnet School. Dr. Nichols started his educational career as a math teacher. Nichols has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Appalachian State University and his Ed.D. in Educational Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He replaces Joe Childers who passed away unexpectedly in December. Nichols will start his new role on March 1.

Stephanie Ward has served as the district curriculum coordinator for Davidson County Schools since July of 2019. Prior to that she spent seven years as the AIG instructional program specialist for Davidson County. Earlier in her career, she served as the elementary lead teacher and as a classroom teacher at Wallburg Elementary. Ward has a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and a master’s degree from Gardner-Webb University. She will begin her new role in February.   

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