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May 26--  The Montgomery County school board voted Thursday night to hire a career educator to be the new principal at Montgomery County High School.

Dr. Henry Walding started his career 45 years ago teaching junior high math and science in Hawaii and later spent 12 years in as a school principal in Oklahoma City where he was named the state's administrator of the year in 1995.

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Teacher Zellene Robinson welcomes Dr. Walding.

School Superintendent Randy Rodgers says, "The thing about Dr. Walding's application that was so very impressive is the fact he is very strong in instruction and curriculum.  We have a tradition in our school system of achieving and that is our number one priority to make sure our children are prepared for their future."

Dr. Walding has worked in the Liberty County and Pike County school systems and is leaving at job at the private Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama to return to the public schools in Georgia.

"I really miss working with youngsters.  I have enjoyed working with college age students, but my heartbeat is really with the public schools and the instructional process and creating a thriving learning environment for all kids so they can have a successful like as adults," Dr. Walding says.

Dr. Walding succeeds Luke Smith whose contract was not renewed this year.  Smith is consulting an attorney with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and is considering what legal options he may have to continue employment in the Montgomery County school system.

Meanwhile, his apparent successor says he's heard about the conflicts in the Montgomery County school system and says, "I've heard some rumors about it, but I'm just going to stay focused on doing what's right for children."