The Beaufort County School District announced the hire of a new director of innovation Friday, after months of controversy surrounding the position vacated in September by Darlene Moss, the wife of superintendent Jeff Moss.
Bonnie Almond, the district’s current director of secondary education, will become the first director of innovation with responsibility for evaluating academic programs and leading initiatives to improve student achievement.
Darlene Moss was hired for the job with a $90,000 salary this summer after her husband changed the school district's nepotism rule. Following public outcry, she resigned. The post had been vacant since September.
Almond will maintain her current salary of about $95,000 in the new role.
The school board voted to fill the position in November after Jeff Moss argued a director of innovation was still necessary to fulfill the district's goals.
Almond will be in charge of initiatives including creating new academic programs for specific schools and potentially creating a district-wide Wi-Fi network for students.
Before she was hired by the district in 2013, Almond worked in North Carolina schools as a teacher, assistant principal, elementary school principal and high school principal. She was a principle in the Lee County School District in North Carolina while Jeff Moss was superintendent, before being hired in Beaufort County after Moss became superintendent.
“Educators who’ve worked with Bonnie Almond know what a strong and capable professional she is, and I’ll be excited to see what she accomplishes in her new position,” Moss said in a district press release. “There’s no doubt in my mind that our students will benefit academically from what she brings to the table.”
Almond will be replaced as director of secondary education by Geri Henderson, the district’s lead counselor for two years. Henderson will be responsible for improving student achievement in middle and high schools.
During a 20-year career in the Marine Corps, Henderson served as a drill instructor and marksmanship instructor before transitioning into positions focusing on counseling at the Beaufort-Jasper Academy of Career Excellence and Whale Branch Early College High School.
This story will be updated.