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New Wayne Academy principal starts first day

During its monthly meeting earlier this week, the Wayne County Board of Education approved the hiring of a former Johnston County Schools administrator as the new principal of Wayne Academy.

John Bell, who has served in both school-level and district-level administration, started his first day as principal of Wayne Academy on Friday, May 1. Mr. Bell is replacing Dr. William Vann, III, who resigned last month. Mr. Bell says quality alternative learning programs can positively impact a student’s academic and social/emotional well being, and are ideal for students struggling to be successful in a traditional learning environment.

“As a former social worker at the Department of Social Services and the founder and director of one of the state’s first Alzheimer’s and Dementia Adult Day Services Programs, I have learned the struggles families face and worked at improving their lives by providing needed services,” states Mr. Bell. “Likewise, in my public education career I found that quality teaching and student engagement and learning are our best preventative measures to help our students have the best opportunities for continuing secondary education and college, being career ready and having success after becoming high school graduates.” 

Mr. Bell has taught at the elementary level, served as an assistant principal in grades K-12, and a principal in grades 6-12. In addition, he has served in director roles for both the Career and College Promise (CCP) Program and Safety and Operations for Johnston County Schools. Mr. Bell holds a bachelor’s degree from Elon College, a teaching certification from Saint Augustine’s College and a master’s degree in school administration from East Carolina University. 

“I am honored to be named principal of Wayne Academy,” states Mr. Bell. “I look forward to working with our students, parents/guardians, our faculty and the community to maximize the potential and success of our young people who can benefit from an alternative learning program.”

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