Lee schools fill two principal vacancies

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Two Lee County assistant principals are eager to begin their first principal assignments.
The district’s school board promoted both Roman Doty and Belinda McKinion during its regular meeting on Tuesday night. Doty will lead Mooreville Middle School, and McKinion will be the principal at Saltillo Elementary School.
Doty, who has been assistant principal at Saltillo High School for the past eight years, replaces Lee Bruce, who moved to Mooreville High School.
McKinion replaces Coke Magee after serving as Saltillo Elementary’s assistant principal for the past eight years. Magee will become the school district’s assistant superintendent. Both moves become official on July 1.
“A large number of employees in the district have their administrative certification,” said Lee County Superintendent Jimmy Weeks of the ability to fill both positions from within. “They’ve been in the district, and they’ve done a good job.
“…That is not to say we would never hire anyone from outside the district, but when you have good people in the district, and they’ve been here and worked hard and put forth the effort and the district has benefited, I felt like the best thing to do was to give them the first look.”
Doty, 41, has been in education for 18 years. He began by coaching boys basketball and teaching health and P.E. at Hatley for two years. Next, he spent eight years at Pine Grove, where he taught health and driver’s education and coached basketball and softball.
He moved from the South Tippah school to his current job.
“Roman is very organized and detail-oriented,” Weeks said.
Doty, who already lives near Mooreville, said he looks forward to working with the teachers, staff, parents and students in the community.
“Mooreville Middle School is a good school, and I hope to go in there and continue to do what they’ve done and continue to grow and build,” he said. “I know Mooreville is growing like Saltillo has, and I’m looking forward to working there.”
McKinion worked as a classroom teacher at Shelby Middle School from 1999 to 2003 and was a literacy coach and assistant principal at the school the following year. Shelby Middle is in the North Bolivar School District.
She has been in her current position since 2004.
Weeks said that McKinion has been instrumental in implementing the Whole School Arts initiative at the school.
“I think the teachers respect her and the parents and the community do,” Weeks said.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com