GREENVILLE, N.C. — Pitt County Schools Superintendent Ethan Lenker on Tuesday announced administrative leadership appointments involving several schools across the district, effective Jan. 23, 2023.
Individuals who possess a combined total of 140 years in education, including a collective 52 as principals within the PCS system, will transition into new leadership roles at seven different schools beginning at the start of the spring semester. Those schools include E.B. Aycock Middle School, Ayden-Grifton High School, Bethel School, Eastern Elementary School, Pactolus Global School, South Central High School and H.B. Sugg-Sam D. Bundy Elementary Schools.
“Similar to any living document, our strategic plan’s ultimate success requires a need to adapt at times to ensure it remains aligned to our goals and priorities,” Lenker said. “Factors that play a role in carrying out our responsibility to provide the highest quality of education possible continually evolve, not only in our schools, but in our communities as well. Our recurring evaluation process allows us to address how to best update strategies that enable effective leadership amidst changing landscapes.”
Five current sitting principals will assume similar duties elsewhere in the county, one assistant principal has earned a promotion, while another opening will be filled on an interim basis by a former principal and district-level administrator.
The new appointees will be working collaboratively on both of their campuses on a transition plan that meets the needs of each school before their start dates.
E.B. Aycock Middle School
Incoming: Taylor Matkins, who has served as principal at Pactolus Global School since 2018 and was recently named 2022-23 PCS Principal of the Year, has spent 11 years in education and six as an administrator. He previously was an assistant principal at G.R. Whitfield School (2016-17) and a teacher at Aycock from 2011 to 2016.
Outgoing: Don Marr has been appointed principal at Bethel School.
Ayden-Grifton High School
Incoming: Casey Matthis earned 2022-23 PCS Assistant Principal of the Year honors and has spent three-plus years in that role at Grifton School, which followed a teaching assignment at AGHS, her alma mater, from 2014 to 2019. She has been an educator for nine years.
Outgoing: Chena Cayton will transition to another on-campus leadership position at South Central High School.
Incoming: Don Marr has a 29-year career in education, most recently serving as principal at E.B. Aycock (2021-present) and D.H. Conley High School (2013-21). His first PCS position was a teacher at DHC in 2003 before being appointed as the district’s Lead Teacher for Alternative Learning for two years and accepting his initial administrative post as an assistant principal at J.H. Rose High School in 2009.
Outgoing: Leigh Ann Swinson resigned to accept a position outside the county after serving PCS for 17 years, seven as an administrator.
Eastern Elementary School
Incoming: Allison Setser owns 25 years as an educator, 12 in administrative roles – including the last seven as principal at H.B. Sugg-Sam D. Bundy Elementary Schools. She will return to EES after teaching there from 2003 to 2009, which was followed by a one-year stay at E.B. Aycock. Setser began her administrative career as assistant principal at H.B. Sugg (2010-14) before accepting the principal’s position at Bethel for the 2014-15 school year.
Outgoing: Robbie Johnson will relocate to guide Sugg-Bundy as its new principal.
Pactolus Global School
Incoming: Sandra Morris, who spent 19 years as an on-campus and central office administrator with Pitt County Schools, will lead Pactolus on an interim basis throughout the spring semester. After assistant principal assignments at Belvoir and Grifton, she served the former as principal from 2007 to 2010 before spending two years in a leadership capacity at Wellcome Middle School. Morris was named PSC Federal Programs Director in 2012 and followed as the district’s Chief of School Support from 2018 to 2022.
Outgoing: Taylor Matkins will take over duties at E.B. Aycock Middle School.
South Central High School
Incoming: Chena Cayton, a 23-year educator, will be the longest-serving active principal in the PSC system with 11 years of experience (Wahl-Coates Elementary School/2011-15, Ayden-Grifton High School/2015-present) entering the new semester. After teaching in the classroom at D.H. Conley High School from 1999 to 2004, she was named assistant principal at J.H. Rose High School and served in that capacity until moving to the central office as Director of High Schools, Director of Career & Technical Education and Staff Development Coordinator beginning in 2008 (until her appointment at Wahl-Coates).
Outgoing: Janarde Cannon, who has spent the last six years leading SCHS after a three-year tenure at E.B. Aycock, will transition to an administrative role within PCS Educational Programs and Services as its Coordinator of Alternative Learning. His new position will align with the district’s strategic plan objective to decrease the high school dropout rate, one of which is an initiative to create a 22-credit diploma program.
H.B. Sugg-Sam D. Bundy Elementary Schools
Incoming: Robbie Johnson began his administrative career in 2014 as an assistant principal at Eastern Elementary School before his promotion to the principal position there two years later, which turned into a six-year assignment. In all, he has spent 13 years in education, first joining PCS as a teacher at EES (2008-2011) and later moving to Northwest Elementary School (2011-2014).
Outgoing: Allison Setser will relocate back to Greenville and assume principal duties at Eastern Elementary School.