Interim No More: Lawhead Confirmed as MCHS Principal Pending Board Approval


New MCHS Principal Ronnie Lawhead

Madisonian Staff Report, Staff Reporter

*The article has been edited to reflect Lawhead’s position is not final until MCS board approval.

This morning, Madison Consolidated Schools superintendent Dr. Teresa Brown announced to high school staff in the Opal E. Sherman auditorium that interim principal Ronnie Lawhead had indeed been confirmed as the Principal for MCHS pending board approval. Lawhead, who took the interim mantle after Don Cowper resigned in the first semester, had been acting principal in the following months.

Mystery and conjectures surrounded the position after Cowper’s departure. Students and faculty alike wondered if Lawhead would move into the role or would Dr. Brown prefer someone outside the organization. Those questions were answered this morning as the announcement was met with applause from the faculty and staff.

“I am very happy to be named MCHS principal. We have been working hard since Mr. Cowper resigned to keep everything moving forward. This appointment, at this time, is beneficial as we are preparing for next year,” Lawhead stated.

Lawhead’s hire could be beneficial for MCHS as the principal position was in disarray after the surprise departure of Michael Gasaway last summer. Lawhead recognized the need for stability inside MCHS’ hallways, especially after Gasaway’s and Cowper’s departures.

“I think that was helpful in maintaining consistency and progress. We (Assistant Principal Angelia Upchurch and Dean of Students Brandon Frye)  will focus on improving and moving forward with regard to pathways and opportunities for students,” Lawhead stated. “My guiding purpose as principal is to continue to move forward with consistency. I will continue to focus on building relationships through real conversations and creating shared accountability aligned with high expectations. We will continue our work to create a more engaging learning and working environment for our students and staff.”

Lawhead, who also applied for the position over the summer, credits the interim period for preparing him even more for the challenges of the principal position.

“I have learned quite a lot. There are many aspects to the principal position that I was not privy to as the assistant principal. While I was a part of most of the operations of the school, I am now a part of all of the operations.”

Every school administration has goals, but one of Lawhead’s primary goals for the MCHS constituency of students, parents, faculty, and staff is an emphasis on effective communication.

“Everyone can expect a principal who communicates. Communication is the key to most situations. It provides clarity and understanding; transparency can eliminate issues born in misunderstanding and miscommunication.”

Now that Lawhead’s tenure as principal has officially begun pending approval, one thing is sure: MCHS students, residents, and teachers are glad to have some certainty at the top and hope Lawhead can guide them to a successful future.