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May 1, 2015


 Ms. Terran Newman
  Ms. Nikkita Warfield

As the current school year quickly winds down, Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and members of the Newton County Board of Education are already making plans for next year. One of the first items on their agenda was choosing new school leaders for South Salem and Porterdale elementary schools. Both South Salem principal Holly Dubois and Porterdale principal, Dr. Lizzella Dodson, had announced their plans to retire at the end of current school year.

The Board of Education marked that very important item off their to-do list at a Special Called Board Meeting on Friday, May 1, when they approved Ms. Terran Newman and Ms. Nikkita Warfield as principals of South Salem and Porterdale elementary schools respectively. Both ladies are currently serving as assistant principals in the Newton County School System—Ms. Newman at South Salem and Ms. Warfield at Newton High School. They will transition to their new assignments on July 1.


A familiar face will take the helm at South Salem Elementary School later this summer when Ms. Terran Newman officially moves into the principal’s office. She has served as an assistant principal at South Salem since 2010, when she joined the Newton County School System team. Prior to her arrival in Newton County, Ms. Newman taught fourth and fifth grade at Lorraine Elementary School (1999-2010) and Shoal Creek Elementary School (1993-1999) in Rockdale County. She previously taught fourth grade at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School in the Atlanta Public School district from 1990 to 1993. Ms. Newman began her teaching career in 1988 as a kindergarten and later fourth grade teacher at Flat Shoals Elementary School—part of the DeKalb County School System.

Ms. Newman earned her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Jacksonville State University in Alabama in 1987 and her Master of Science degree in middle grades from Mercer University in Atlanta. She obtained a master’s add-on degree in leadership and administration from Georgia State University in 2008 and followed that up with an Education Specialist degree in leadership in administration, also from Georgia State, the following year.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the students and families of South Salem Elementary School as principal,” said Newman. “It is truly an honor to work with our dedicated staff to nurture and provide opportunities for our students to reach their highest potential. I am looking forward to building upon the success we have already achieved at our school.”


Ms. Nikkita Warfield will transition from the high school level to the elementary school level when she officially takes the reigns at Porterdale Elementary School in July. She has served as the assistant principal of instruction at Newton High School since 2013. Ms. Warfield previously served as the college and career readiness coordinator and later the school instructional coach at Newton High School before embarking on her leadership career. She joined the Newton County School System team in 2007 as a middle grades English teacher at Clements Middle School and later Liberty Middle School.

Ms. Warfield began her career in the DeKalb County School System in 2001 where she served as a teacher at first Miller Grove Middle School and later Redan Middle School before making the move to Newton County Schools. She is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the East Metro Alliance of Gifted Education, the Georgia Association of Gifted Children, Kappa Delta Epsilon, the National Education Association, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Ms. Warfield earned her Bachelor of Science degree in middle grades education from Fort Valley State University in 2000 and a Masters in Education in educational instruction from Central Michigan University in 2004. She obtained her Education Specialist degree in educational instruction from Central Michigan University in 2007. Ms. Warfield is currently working on her doctorate in curriculum and instruction, which she expects to receive from Walden University in spring 2016.

“I would first like to celebrate the work of Dr. Dodson,” said Warfield. “She has done an outstanding job with leading Porterdale Elementary School. I look forward to advancing the work Dr. Dodson has started as we continue to build a foundation towards academic success for all students at Porterdale Elementary. I am so excited to become a member of the Porterdale family!”

“One of the most important decisions that a school superintendent and school board must make is choosing a school’s leader,” said NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey. “The school principal ultimately sets the tone, the goals, and even the mood of the entire building. The faculty and staff, and most importantly the children, depend on us to make the very best choice for their school. I think the employees, and students and parents of both South Salem Elementary and Porterdale Elementary will be very pleased with our selections. Ms. Newman and Ms. Warfield are both outstanding educators who are committed to academic excellence and providing the very best education possible for their students. That is why they were each ultimately the top choices for the two schools’ selection committees, which consisted of not only central office administrators but also teachers and parents from the schools. I was very happy to present their final recommendations to the board for approval and I’m looking forward to working with Ms. Newman and Ms. Warfield on a daily basis as they focus on our school system’s number one mission—providing educational excellence for all students.”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, at