Woodward hires LaGrange president

Woodward Academy has appointed Stuart Gulley to take over as president of the private school, ending a search that began after President Harry Payne committed suicide in January.

Gulley, 47, has been president of LaGrange College since July 1996. He plans to complete the academic year at the Georgia college, then assume his Woodward duties in the summer.

Gulley is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and holds a master’s from Emory University and a doctorate from Georgia State University. He is an ordained United Methodist minister.

“My family and I are thrilled and honored by the opportunity to join the Woodward family,” Gulley said. “We are much impressed by the breadth of Woodward’s total educational program as well as its racial and religious diversity, and we are especially pleased our sons will benefit from a Woodward education.”

Middle school passes charter test

Sandy Springs Middle School had to make some changes to its petition, but it won approval Oct. 16 from the Fulton County Board of Education to convert into a charter school.

The revised charter petition had support from 89 percent of faculty and staff members and 96 percent of families who voted on it. The Fulton County Schools Charter Rating Committee recommended approval of the petition, and the school board agreed.

The school board also approved Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School’s petition for a five-year renewal of its charter. Both petitions will go before the state Board of Education for final approval in March.

The Charter Rating Committee requested that Sandy Springs Middle add more details and answer numerous questions to strengthen its petition, from providing details on a proposed adviser-advisee program and the integration of the ArtsNOW program into the curriculum to justifying a plan to teach Latin to most sixth-graders.

Responding in a memo, Principal Kay Walker thanked the committee for its input, saying, “I firmly believe that our charter is much stronger because of this review.”

North Springs comes home to new field

North Springs Charter High School played its homecoming football game Oct. 24 against Miller Grove High School, marking the school’s first game on its newly restored athletic field.

The event included a surprise fireworks display organized by students Greg Kamp and Chris O’Connell. Principal Lisa Stueve cut a ribbon on the $1.5 million renovation.

The facility includes a new polyurethane track, field house and bleachers. The track hasn’t been completed, but the Spartans will play the remainder of their home football games on the field.

Lovett alumnus headed into space

Army Lt. Col. Shane Kimbrough, who graduated from The Lovett School in 1985, is scheduled to soar into Earth orbit in November as part of the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour.

The flight will deliver equipment to the international space station to allow crews to stay aboard longer.

Kimbrough, 41, attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after Lovett, then served in the first Persian Gulf War as an Apache helicopter pilot. He earned a master’s from Georgia Tech, served as an instructor at West Point and was accepted into the space program for astronaut training in 2004.

He is one of seven astronauts on the space mission, set to launch Nov. 14. As a mission specialist, Kimbrough is scheduled for spacewalks on the seventh and 11th days of the flight.

During a phone conversation with Lovett eighth-graders in late May, he promised to return to the school next year to discuss his experiences in space. You can follow the preparations for the flight and the 15-day mission at www.nasa.org.