SA head, elementary principal to resign at the end of the academic year

October 29, 2013 10:19:16 AM

Carl Smith - [email protected]


The Starkville Academy Board of Directors will soon begin discussing two upcoming vacancies after Head of School John "Doc" Stephens and Elementary Principal Cherie Maynard announced their intentions to resign at the end of the academic year for family reasons. 


SA Board of Directors President Leann Markham confirmed the group is in the early stages of the search process. Future board meetings, she said, will focus on job expectations, the direction of the school and qualities SA is looking for in a future leader. 


Stephens and Maynard announced their intentions during SA's monthly board meeting on Oct. 21. A memo alerting stakeholders of the upcoming changes was sent Thursday. In that announcement, the school board said it was indebted to both for their contributions and dedication to Starkville Academy. 


"Under Mr. Stephens' leadership, the school has experienced an unprecedented period of growth, financial stability and overall improvement. (Stephens') amazing work ethic and planning skills have served as the backbone for the school's recent success and improved reputation, and these advances will serve as a legacy for his successor," the school board memo states. "Mrs. Maynard has been one of the most active, dedicated and involved elementary principals in the history of Starkville Academy. She has pushed the elementary to new heights inside and outside of the classroom, and her commitment to her students is evident in everything she does. 


"While we are saddened to see both of these individuals move on to the next chapters in their lives, we know that this presents a unique opportunity to continue their work of improving the school," the memo continues. 


Stephens and his wife will return to Meridian to be with their family, while Maynard will join her husband, former Greater Starkville Development Partnership CEO Jon Maynard, in Oxford, where he serves as executive vice present for economic and community development for the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation. 


A call to Stephens' office Monday went unanswered.

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch