Montgomery Schools Name Several New Staff Members

The following is a news release from Montgomery Public Schools.

Board Names New Chief Academic Officer/Associate Superintendent, Bellingrath Principal

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Montgomery County Board of Education named veteran educator, Rita F. Wright as its new Chief Academic Officer/Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, and Lanier High assistant principal Mary B. Markham as the new principal of Bellingrath Jr. High School during a special called board meeting on Monday.

"Mrs. Wright is a proven leader with a track record of using data to analyze and improve student achievement, and devising and implementing programs that support curriculum and instruction, technology and professional development," said MPS Superintendent Barbara Thompson. "I'm confident that her knowledge and experience will be a great asset to our district."

"Mrs. Markham has a variety of qualities and skills that make her a good fit for this position," said Thompson. "Because she was a classroom teacher, school counselor and assistant principal, she understands what students and teachers need to effectively facilitate the teaching and learning process." she said.

Prior to coming to Montgomery Public Schools, Wright was the assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for the Butler County Board of Education- a position she held for five years. Her responsibilities included implementing system-wide strategies for improving academic achievement, managing federal programs, planning professional development activities, and directing technology, gifted programs, preschool, career technical education, and library media among other programs.

Wright has more than 26 years of service to education. She has held positions as an educational consultant, technology administrator, a curriculum, instruction and assessment administrator, director of technology, assistant principal, and a high school science teacher.

She currently serves as vice president/president elect and annual conference chair of the Alabama Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She is also a member of the University of Alabama's Superintendent's Academy, School Superintendents of Alabama, National Association of Federal Program Administrators, and the Alabama Educational Technology Association.

She holds a bachelor's in science education from Jacksonville State University, a master's in chemistry from University of Alabama-Birmingham, and an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of Alabama.

Markham has served as assistant principal at Lanier High School since 2004. She was responsible for directing the school's business academy, which included hiring business academy teachers, managing the program's budget and implementing professional development activities for academy teachers. She also coordinated Lanier's tutorial and mentoring programs and provided supervision for athletics programs.

Markham has held positions as school counselor at Lanier and as a science teacher at Bellingrath Jr. High. In addition, she is a U.S. Army reservist and developed and implemented the materials and supply budget for a unit of 300 soldiers.

She holds a bachelor's in biology education and a master's in school counseling from Alabama State University, and an endorsement in educational leadership from Auburn University Montgomery.