University Charter School names first principal

The Board of Directors for Sumter County’s new University Charter School has announced the hiring of its founding principal, John W. Cameron Jr.

Before being named principal at University Charter School, Cameron has served the past three years as assistant director of the Hale County College & Career Academy. In this role, Cameron has been thoroughly involved with the Region 3 Workforce Development Committee, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, the Alabama Simulated Workplace, and the Ready to Work program for high school students.

Cameron was named principal at the UCS Board of Directors meeting on Monday, Feb. 5. According to Board President Micky Smith, UCS received 109 applications for the position, selecting Cameron as the best person to help the school achieve its goals. His background is a blend of professional achievements that complement the UCS vision for education and student development.

“I have always believed that we have to start early in elementary school to teach students soft skills that they need to grow and learn,” Cameron said. “Ultimately, we have to make sure that even as young children they are learning to talk to people, present themselves, and be able to compete fairly for their achievements. As educators, we provide the tools and a path for them to succeed.”

Cameron earned an associate of science in 1992 from Shelton State Community College, where he played baseball on scholarship. He then earned a bachelor of science in physical education from Livingston University (now UWA) in 1995 and was named one of two outstanding graduating seniors by the University’s College of Education. In 2005, he earned a master’s in education administration from UWA.

From 2006 until 2013, Cameron served as assistant principal at Hale County High School and was also head coach of baseball and athletic director there. He was then named principal of the school in 2013, serving two years in that position until being transferred to the Hale County College and Career Academy to serve as assistant director.

Cameron’s wife, Alesia, is also an educator, a special education teacher. They have two daughters, Liz, 17, and Baylee, 14. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hiking and fly fishing.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, February 21 issue of the Demopolis Times.)