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April 15--  This year's STAR teacher at Montgomery County High School is taking over this summer as the high school principal.

English teacher Pamela Richards was hired by the county school board Monday night to succeed Dr. Henry Walding who's been the head Eagle for the past two years.

{mosimage}Superintendent Randy Rodgers (left) said the selection committee interviewed seven candidates for the job and felt that Richards is the best person for the position.

"I'm overwhelmed, I'm overjoyed and I'm very excited about the opportunity to take our school to the next level," she said.

She has 17 years in teaching and came to the school system last year from Bacon County where she was head of the English Department. She says the move was the right decision in spite of negative publicity about the school system the past few years.

"I was warned not to come.  I was warned to stay away, that Montgomery County takes good people and turns them bad.  I had a former administrator try to discourage us from coming here, but this has truly been the best decision we've made for our family," she noted.

"I have never found a lovelier set of students.  This is truly a misunderstood county and I look forward to being part of counter-acting the negative publicity.  The only way to do that is to create positive news and that's what I hope to do," Richards said.

The new principal is the fourth generation of her family with roots in education in Montgomery County.  Her dad, Larry Calhoun, graduated from the high school and is now the Provost of Southeastern Technical College.

"My great granddaddy was school board chairman here, my granddaddy taught here and my Dad graduated here.  It's very important to me to uphold that legacy and that family pride," she said.

Richards' husband, Phillip, is the high school physical education teacher and assistant football coach. They have three children in the school system.

Coach Richards was asked if he had a problem with his wife being the boss at school.  He said no, it's that way at home, too.