Lee shuffles Shannon principals

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Two Shannon schools will have new leaders when students return to campus in August.
Shannon Elementary School Principal Ida Brand will move to Shannon Middle School to replace retiring Keith Steele. Shannon Elementary Assistant Principal Allen Stanford will become that school’s principal.
Lee County’s School Board approved both moves during its regular meeting on Tuesday night. It also voted to hire Beverly McCray as Shannon Elementary’s assistant principal.
“Ida is rooted in the community,” Lee County Superintendent Jimmy Weeks said when asked about the shuffle. “The parents at the elementary school were pleased with Ida and the work she’s done.
“I’m pleased with Allen and the work he’s done. My thought is we can take what is good at the elementary school and spread it around a little and it will be that much better down there.”
Brand, 59, began her career in Okolona where she spent 16 years as an assistant teacher and later as a teacher at the alternative school, elementary and middle school.
She taught reading at Shannon Middle for three years before spending the last seven years leading Shannon Elementary.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “I will respect the decisions that are made, and it is like a journey. One starts and ends and another starts, and who knows where it will take me. God only knows where that will be.”
Stanford, 48, has been at Shannon Elementary for one semester. Before that, he was a teacher, baseball coach and assistant principal at Ripley High School for 14 1/2 years. That time includes eight years as assistant principal.
He was hired by Lee County in January to replace Pam Blissard, who became principal at Plantersville Middle after Bill Horton’s death.
“Ms. Brand has been a great person to work for, and I’m excited about accepting the challenge of an elementary principal position,” he said. “I have great shoes to fill, but I’m excited.”
McCray has been student services coordinator at the Tupelo Career and Tech Center for the last eight years after spending nine and a half years as a teacher at Plantersville School in Lee County.
Shannon Middle Assistant Principal Rodney Spears will remain in that position at the school.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com