By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Multiple Hoke County High School staff members reported Thursday that Principal Dr. Adell Baldwin has announced he will be leaving the position to take a job with the Scotland County school district.
Superintendent Dr. Debra Dowless confirmed that Baldwin notified the school district of his resignation. His last day will be in May, she said.
The announcement happened Wednesday in a staff meeting held over Zoom, a teacher said. The News-Journal has reached out to Baldwin for more information.
Unconfirmed rumors from multiple sources suggested that Baldwin’s resignation may have been related to a salary dispute. Asked about the rumors, Dowless declined to comment and said any comments on that should come from Baldwin himself.
A Change.org petition addressed to the Hoke County Board of Education and school district superintendent sought support from the community in trying to keep Baldwin as principal. In just hours, the petition gathered over 230 signatures. Many people commented on Facebook posts spreading the petition that they didn’t want the principal to leave.
“Dr. Baldwin has been an inspirational role to Hoke County High School. His leadership has changed staff, student, and community morale. His presence has created a positive union between staff and students,” the petition creator wrote. “He defines our motto that ‘relationships matter.’ He is the whole package when it comes to leadership qualities. If you agree with the above statement, please sign this petition in the hopes of being effective in reaching the Board of Education. Together our voices can be heard!”
Baldwin is a Hoke native who graduated from Hoke High with the Class of 1987. He has been principal of the school since 2018. Before that, he served as director of Career and Technical Education.
The school board will presumably conduct a search for a new principal, but hasn’t yet made any final decisions, the superintendent said.
This story is still developing.
Petition on Change.org: Keep Dr. Baldwin at Hoke County High School!