Newton transitions from middle school teacher to dean of students

Christopher Corriveau, Staff Writer

After almost a semester without a dean of students, previous eighth grade history teacher Arnez Newton was selected to fill the position.

The decision was made by a panel of GCAA staff, including the head of school Ashley Olson, middle and high school principles Tennille Peeler and Gina Bell-Moore, middle school counselor Tosha Pearson, and high school choir teacher Nicholas Rhodes. Olson got the final decision out of three top candidates picked by the panel.

“It was just really clear that he was the best choice for us” Olson said.

Newton was pleasantly surprised by the choice, and is currently adjusting to his new role. When asked about his new role, he said “I’m loving the promotion. It is kind of weird to be in a school and not teaching, because that’s what I’ve done for the past fourteen years, but it gives me a chance to interact with all of the students as opposed to just when you have me as a sixth grade teacher.”

This is not Newton’s first time acting as a dean of students. In the absence of a dean of students, Newton was used unofficially on a few occasions to fill the responsibilities, even to the point of placing a substitute teacher in his class occasionally to do so. However, as a permanent dean of students, it will be much easier to complete all the tasks required by a dean.

Newton’s previous class currently has a substitute teacher, although the school is currently searching for candidates to teach the class permanently.

“I feel I’ve been training for this since the time I got here as a teacher.” Newton said, “I think the relationships I’ve built with students from twelfth grade down to sixth grade have been meaningful and it has placed me in a position to be able to transition from the classroom into the dean of students role.”