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LCS hires Dudley as new LJHS principal

At its first meeting of 2021, the Lanett City Schools Board of Education approved the hire of Ke’Undra Dudley as the new principal of Lanett Junior High. She replaces Donna Bell, who moved to W.O. Lance Elementary after long-time principal Jamie Heard announced his retirement.

“Ms. Dudley exemplifies the leadership qualities, skill set, and expertise that I believe makes for a good instructional leader,” Lanett City Schools Superintendent Jennifer Boyd said. “Her enthusiasm for student growth and achievement, a positive school culture, and parental and community involvement aligns with the mission and beliefs of Lanett City Schools. She will be an asset to Lanett Junior High School and the school district as a whole.”

Dudley has spent the past 15 years working in many roles, which include working as a childcare worker, middle and elementary classroom/lead teacher, academic interventionist and assistant principal.

Dudley was serving as the assistant principal at Barbour County Intermediate School before coming to Lanett. She has also worked with Troy University, Alabama Department of Youth Services and Montgomery Public Schools.

LCS started January virtually, giving it as much time as possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 from the Christmas break. School started virtually on Jan. 5. Due to the high amount of COVID-19 cases in Chambers County, which was deemed a very high-risk county by the Alabama Department of Public Health, LCS decided to stay virtual until Jan. 19.

“This data actually drove our decision to delay bringing our students back on campus this week,” Boyd said. “Hopefully, cases will begin to dwindle somewhat again to a level that is more manageable to us. Hopefully, we will be able to bring out students back on campus after the MLK holiday.”

With the extended virtual learning, the LCS staff had to pivot and Boyd has been happy with the results.

“We’re using what we have to make it work,” Boyd said. “Although things might look a little different, that does not mean that we are not offering quality learning experiences. I’m very pleased with the activities I see at W.O. Lance Elementary.”

W.O. Lance has increased the number of Zoom sessions per day. It altered its art, library, counseling and music courses so they could be taught over Zoom.

Lanett Junior High started its first-semester exam schedule on Wednesday. Those exams were given remotely.

“I want to encourage our students and our parents to follow the schedule provided. I think that will cut down on some of the confusion,” Boyd said. “With the changes, I know that it can become confusing, but we made that information available.”

Boyd also said that she should have the results of LCS’s accreditation results.

“I’m very excited to hear the insight and the results from that engagement review,” Boyd said.

Since staff reported to campuses on Aug. 12, Lanett has reported 20 positive student COVID-19 cases and nine positive staff cases. There have been 183 student close contacts, forcing them into quarantine and 24 staff close contact.