Clark hired as principal at DHS

Published 5:37 pm Friday, July 3, 2009

Leon Clark, who served as principal at Thomasville High School from 2002 to 2006, was hired as Demopolis High School’s next principal on Thursday. Clark signed a three-year contract with the Demopolis City Schools system.

Clark was offered the position after the Dr. Walter Davie, the Demopolis school board’s first choice, accepted the position on Tuesday, then called the school board on Wednesday to tell them he had changed his mind due to personal reasons.

Clark was among the three remaining candidates for the position, along with Demopolis Middle School principal Clarence Jackson Jr. and Woodlawn High School assistant principal Janice Drake.

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The school board decided Thursday morning to call Clark back for another interview that afternoon.

“He gave us excellent answers, especially regarding discipline and cleanliness of the campus,” said Demopolis school board chair Gary Holemon. “His experience at the high school level was also a factor.”

Holemon added that Clark’s answers equating the importance of athletics, arts and academics were impressive.

“I’m excited about it,” Clark said about gaining the position at DHS. “Demopolis High School has got a good record with academics, extracurricular activities — a lot of things are going well for Demopolis. I think that reflects what the community wants Demopolis High School to be as well as the job that the leadership has done — including the superintendent, school board members, principals and teachers.

“The students have had success that they’ve shown in academics with the graduation exams. All of those things are important. It’s going to be a good situation for me to come into. I realize that with all of the good things that have happened and all the hard work, and the rewards that have been given to Demopolis, that there are always some things that need to be addressed that we can take care of to improve it that much more.”

Clark takes the reins at Demopolis High School after former principal Dr. Isaac Espy resigned to take a similar position at Tuscaloosa’s Northridge High School last May.

Clark said that he would be in the office Monday to hit the ground running.

“The biggest thing that I’ve got to do is get in there and see things for what they really are,” he said.

“I’ve got to set up some times to meet with teachers and get familiar with them and talk about the things that they are interested in, issues that need to be addressed.

“A lot of it is going to be meeting with people and gathering information to the point where I can make decisions about which direction to go and the things that we need to take care of first.”