Robert Jarrell greets a new crop of pupils today as the new leader of Riverside Elementary School.
Robert Jarrell, former assistant principal at Greenbrier Middle School, was named principal of Riverside Elementary during a recently called school board meeting.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The Columbia County school board unanimously approved Jarrell as the replacement for the recently demoted Jeanie Hill at a special meeting Friday.
System officials say Hill violated school board policy when she failed to immediately report to legal authorities alleged incidents of improper touching by a substitute teacher, officials have said. She is now the assistant principal at Grovetown Middle School.
"It's been a difficult time for the school, but it is a great school with a great faculty," Jarrell said. "Parents should know that their children will be safe, and they will receive the best education they can receive."
Columbia County School Superintendent Tommy Price said Jarrell's primary goals for the beginning of school will be to unite the faculty and school community.
"Not many people would want to accept a position at a school that's gone through what Riverside has," Price said. "But (Jarrell) is an excellent leader and motivator and is up to the task."
Jarrell was the assistant principal at Greenbrier Middle School for three years.
Before that, he was the band teacher at Lakeside High School for 14 years. He also has taught on the elementary level in Richmond County.
Jarrell's wife, Gail, also s an educator. She teaches band at Lakeside Middle School. Their daughter, Jill, is a senior at Greenbrier High School.
Regarding the controversy recently surrounding Riverside Elementary, Jarrrel said he hopes to keep it in the past.
"We're just going to move it forward," he said.
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