Clairemont Elementary Principal Billy Heaton has been named the first ever principal for Decatur’s new upper elementary school (grades 3-5) on Talley Street, scheduled to open next August. He’s shown here with Clairemont’s teacher-of-the year Kelly Nichols. Courtesy City Schools Decatur

Decatur announces Billy Heaton as new Talley Street principal

City Schools Decatur named Billy Heaton the first ever principal for the new upper elementary school (grades 3-5) on Talley Street, scheduled to open next August. Currently Heaton is principal at Decatur’s Clairemont Elementary, where he’s been since July 2016.

Superintendent David Dude didn’t waste time making the decision. In a Thursday press release Dude said that originally there were 27 applications for the position. Eventually an interview team of teachers, parents, student leaders and district representatives interviewed seven finalists, three internal and four external.

After the Nov. 13 school board meeting Executive Director of Schools Dr. Maggie Fehrman said that Dude probably would make his decision after the Thanksgiving break.

Heaton began his career as an upper elementary school teacher. Before coming to Clairemont he served as a middle school and elementary school principal in Oconee and Madison Counties.

It’s anticipated Heaton will begin assembling his staff in January. It’s still uncertain how many new teachers the school will hire, though it’s estimated Talley Street will open with about 720 students (the initial building capacity is 750).

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