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Rockingham County Schools announces Dr. Terry Worrell as interim superintendent

Dr. Terry Worrell will start as Rockingham County Schools interim superintendent in March after the board voted to fire Dr. Rodney Shotwell in December.

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — The Rockingham County School system completed its search for an interim superintendent Monday evening.

The board approved an interim superintendent contract for Dr. Terry Worrell starting March 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021, with an option to extend as necessary.

Worrell previously served as superintendent of Asheboro City Schools for five years.

According to Rockingham County Schools, she worked in four different school districts, one of those being Rockingham County Schools.

The school system said Worrell has served in education for over 36 years as a science teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, regional superintendent of 41 schools, and superintendent.

“She served as an elementary, middle and high school principal for 17 years prior to working at the central services level,” the school system said in a news release. “Dr. Worrell is a native of Guilford County and first-generation college student.”

Worrell earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, master’s degree in human development and learning from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, education specialist degree in education leadership from Appalachian State University and doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She also worked as an adjunct professor at Gardner-Webb University, UNC-Greensboro and University of the Cumberlands.

As the school board moves forward with a new superintendent, some parents are still trying to comprehend the firing of the last. 

"There's just a definite lack of trust between the parents and the school board members," said parent Stephanie Wood.

Wood has been a parent in the Rockingham County School system for 13 years, and is still struggling with the lack of answers that came from the school board over their firing of Dr. Rodney Shotwell.

Shotwel served as superintendent of the school district for 15 years. 

"I do think he cared about our teachers he cared about our students he was very involved and I have not been given a reason why they would go into that so we're still kind of stuck there," she said. 

The board's decision to terminate Shotwell with no explanation sparked lengthy public comment periods from parents demanding answers.

Previously, leaders said they didn't give a reason because the contract allows termination with a 90-day notice and that they were "going in a new direction."

Wood says she wants to see more transparency. 

"When you have a group of parents that are so outspoken and so upset that maybe you'd acknowledge that and I hope that maybe they'll think about that more going forward," said Wood.