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Director bows out, returns to teaching

Halifax County Public Schools once again is searching for a person to fill the director of operations and maintenance position formerly held by Larry Roller, who resigned Tuesday.

Halifax County High School motorsports teacher Doug Newcomb had been hired to fill the position earlier this month.

However, after holding the position for less than a month, Newcomb decided to return to the classroom saying the operations and maintenance director job did not pay enough for the duties demanded.

Halifax County School Board had voted to hire Newcomb following its closed session meeting on Feb. 10.

Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon said this week that ever since he was first hired, Newcomb spoke about the “hard decision” it was for him to leave his students. 

“He said he already loved what he was doing, and it was his decision to return to the classroom,” said Herndon. 

“I would love to be able to have him as both the motorsports teacher and the maintenance director, but we can’t have it all,” the superintendent said.

Returning to the classroom will mean Newcomb also will return to his 10-month teacher salary of $41,150, some $18,662 less than the maintenance director’s salary of $59,812. 

“Basically it was a salary issue,” said Newcomb. “We didn’t meet the pay scale for that position…It just wasn’t justified for the duties I’d take on.” 

He said he was more than qualified to fill the position, just as he’s qualified for his teaching position. 

For now, he will be returning to his former position that he loves, teaching students motorsports with aspects of welding and precision machinery. 

The school division re-posted the position on its website on Feb. 25, and they will be taking applications through Wednesday.