LUMBERTON — Stephen Gaskins, the principal at Lumberton High School, was named by the school board Tuesday as a Public Schools of Robeson County assistant superintendent.
Gaskins, a former St. Pauls High School principal, has been Lumberton High’s principal since 2008. He will begin his new job as assistant superintendent of Administration and Technology once a new principal is hired for Lumberton High, Superintendent Johnny Hunt said.
Gaskins replaces Walter Jackson, who is now serving as assistant superintendent of Human Resources. Jackson took that position when DeRay Cole left to become a project manager at Robeson Community College.
Hunt said 34 applications were received for the position. Seventeen interviews were held.
“I think he will be great for the job,” Jackson said.
In other business, James McDougald, a Maxton businessman and town commissioner, asked board members to consider selling the building housing the old Townsend Middle School gym to the Greater Maxton Area Economic Development Corp.
“We have the private and public funding to renovate the building,” he said. “This would be a great resource for Maxton.”
McDougald said that the old gym would be perfect for providing for community events, including family reunions and events that require a large seating capacity.
Another Maxton resident, James McEachin, asked the board to honor an agreement made with the town years ago to donate the building to Maxton for use as a community youth center.
“The town asked more than 20 years ago to get this building. We have fought hard for it,” McEachin said. “We want this building for the children. It would enhance both the educational and athletic activities that we can offer our children.”
Recently the school system designated the building as surplus property and attempted to turn it over to the county, which declined the offer. The county, by law, had to be given the first chance to purchase the property from the school district.
County Attorney Hal Kinlaw recently told The Robesonian that the schools need to be able to sell the building to raise money more than the county needs additional real estate.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
— Erica Setzer, the system’s chief financial officer, said if either Gov. Perdue’s proposed budget or the House version is approved that there might not have to be any reduction in the number of teacher assistants for the next school year.
— Outgoing school board members Robert Deese, Randall Jones and Jerry Long were recognized for their service on the board. Deese served for 24 years, Jones eight years, and Long four years.
— Johnny Johnson, a pre-school teacher assistant at Rosenwald Elementary School for 13 years, was recognized as the district’s Classified Employee of the Month; Sabrina Branch, a media specialist at Deep Branch Elementary School, was named the district’s Certified Employee of the Month; and Angela Sealey was honored as the Academically and Intellectually Gifted Teacher of the Year.
— The next regular meeting of the school board will be held on July 17 rather than July 10. The change was made because of the July Fourth holiday.
— The district’s annual Back to School Celebration will be held from 7 a.m.to 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Southeastern N.C. Agricultural Center and Farmers Market
— Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.