ARHS principal Gene Jones to resign for North Carolina job 

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Staff Writer
Published: 7/9/2020 2:38:32 PM

AMHERST — An appointment to a principal position at a North Carolina high school is prompting Amherst Regional High School Principal Gene Jones to resign after one year in the district.

In a letter to families in the district sent Wednesday evening, Jones wrote that he would be resigning effective July 24, following his appointment as principal of the Lexington Senior High School in June. He cites the decision to take on the new role as being prompted by the need to be closer to family.

“This year was filled with many unexpected events that gave me a chance to reassess my priorities and reflect on what is truly important in my life,” Jones wrote. “As a result of these reflections, I have decided it was crucial to move closer to my family. An opportunity arose that offered both my wife and I a chance to bring this decision to fruition.”

Jones, who signed a two-year contract with a $138,000 annual salary in spring 2019, began his tenure in the position July 1, 2019, succeeding Mark Jackson, who resigned in fall 2018. Assistant Principal Miki Gromacki served as the interim principal until Jones’ arrival.

Superintendent Michael Morris said the next steps for how the position will be filled will be discussed in the coming days.

“I greatly appreciate Mr. Jones’ tenure at Amherst Regional High School, but understand that being close to family is important, especially given the current national context,” Morris said in a statement. “We wish him great success.”

Jones’ hiring was reported by The Dispatch newspaper in Lexington, North Carolina, on June 2, the same date the city’s Board of Education met.

Jones could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

The resignation later this month brings to a close a brief tenure for Jones, similar to how long he has held positions elsewhere.

Immediately prior to coming to Amherst, Jones was an educational consultant in Virginia, and previously worked as the director of teaching and learning for the Petersburg City Public Schools in Virginia. Jones had also been principal at public high schools in Philadelphia, Syracuse, New York, Roanoke, Virginia and Newport News, Virginia.

While at George Washington High School in Philadelphia, public concerns were aired by parents and former administrators about unreported school violence, with an allegation that violent assaults involving students were happening, but not being publicized, as a way to make the school appear less dangerous.

In his letter, Jones wrote that he has a “heavy heart” and that he would miss the high school students and staff and wishes all of them the best.

“This decision was extremely difficult in that I have created many great working relationships in the Amherst community,” Jones wrote. “I have enjoyed working with all of you as well as our students, and the ARPS (Amherst Regional Public Schools) faculty and staff.”

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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