Harrington Watson, III has been appointed principal of Wossman High School.
Watson, the popular principal of Robinson Elementary School, will transfer to the City System to take over the post just in time for school opening.
Watson’s appointment was discussed and apparently met the approval of the Wossman Alumni group which met recently concerning the interim principal, Roxie Mackens, who is white, who was being considered for the post.
Mackens, who was a key player in crafting Wossman’s improved letter grade, was thought to be the logical choice because of her close association with former principal Eric Davis. The District was recently released from a Federal Court Order which forced Monroe schools to discontinue operating schools that were racially identifiable by staff.
To convince the courts, the district flipped its high school principals with one Black principal in North Monroe and one white principal in South Monroe.
The district convinced the court that it would not revert to old practices if released from court supervision. Because of that promise, many believed the principal of Wossman would be white since Davis replaced the white principal of Carroll.
The district is no longer under federal supervision after 53 years of oversight.
Those who were opposed to the removal of Federal Protections argued that once released, the district would slowly revert to its old habits.
Many in the Alumni group had reservations about Mackens because she was not received well by faculty and students.
School Board member B.J. Johnson said Tuesday that he attended the meeting where names were floated for the position, but he told members that “I don’t have a dog in this fight.” He said he urged alumni to be cautious because shifting principals from one school to another has no guarantee of success and may expose some of our best educational leaders to undue criticism if they do not succeed.