McCullough to lead NCS

Published 6:26 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

A longtime area educator has been tapped to lead the Northshore Charter School.

This week, the school announced that Dee Dee McCullough will take over as principal at NCS.

The next school year will be an important one for the charter school, which opened in 2013. The school is currently underperforming against the Bogalusa School District but it is also expanding, adding a seventh, eighth and 12th grade to the school.

“The challenges are going to be, obviously, getting test scores up because it is a ‘failing’ school,” she said.

However, McCullough said she believes she can lead the charter school to success. McCullough acknowledged that her first goal is to get test scores up, and she plans to do that first through intensive training with faculty over the summer.

“My plan is to do lots of professional development with teachers over the summer and early August,” she said. “We’re going to focus on relationships and relevance with our students.”

In addition, McCullough said she will work with Northshore Technical Community College to establish dual enrollment courses.

“I spoke with (NTCC chancellor) Dr. (William) Wainwright so some of our students can form a partnership and we’ll do dual enrollment classes,” she said.

McCullough was most recently a vice principal at Franklinton High School, and that district has a dual enrolment program. Besides her work as an administrator there, she is a certified teacher and she has also taught for the Bogalusa School District and she has served on the city school board. She also taught at the now-defunct Bogalusa Christian Academy.

McCullough said her successful background as an educator and administrator will make her a successful principal at Northshore Charter School.”

“I have a wealth of knowledge about how things are run,” she said.

And, she pointed out that despite flagging test scores at the charter school, area residents still believe in the school.

“The community needed a choice and wants the school, as evidenced by its growth every year,” she said.

This year’s student body is projected to be 641 students. There were 580 enrolled last year.

The charter school has faced criticism from some members of the Bogalusa school board for taking money from the city’s school district and therefore harming local education. McCullough acknowledged that the two districts are in competition, but she said she would like to work together where it is possible.

McCullough said both school systems are working toward the same goal, so the competition shouldn’t be unhealthy and should be friendly.

“We both work to provide positivity and education in Bogalusa,” she said.

McCullough said that ultimate goal is why she is still an educator.

“I love to see the faces of children learning,” she said.