Corey Ellis was picked Friday as the new principal of Martinez Elementary School in a meeting of the Columbia County Board of Education.
The former assistant principal at Harlem High School was chosen on the recommendation of the Martinez Elementary School council, a group of parents and educators who advise officials on school policy.
Six of the council's seven members placed Ellis on the top of their list for the position, county school Superintendent Tommy Price told the board.
"I hate to see you leave. You've been a real asset at Harlem High School," said board member Roxanne Whitaker, whose district includes Harlem High. "Martinez (Elementary) is lucky to get somebody like you."
Ellis said that before taking the assistant principal's job at Harlem High two years ago, he worked in elementary education in Oklahoma.
The 12-year veteran educator once served as principal of kindergarten through third grades at an Oklahoma school.
"I'm glad to be going back to elementary education," Ellis said after the meeting. "Even when I took the job at Harlem, it was always with the desire to one day return to an elementary school."
Ellis replaces Michele Sherman, who was recently transferred to Greenbrier Elementary School as its new principal.
Sherman replaced Jon Pike, who was demoted to teacher as the final outcome of a June termination hearing.
Ellis called Sherman's work at Martinez Elementary "excellent" and said he expects a smooth transition when school begins Friday.
"Everything runs so well there, it should be easy for me to step and pick up where she left off," he said.
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