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Jamesville man to lead new biotech school

Hallet S. “Hal” Davis Jr., director of secondary education for Martin County Schools and a former principal of Bear Grass School, has been named principal of the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience.

Hallet S. Davis Jr., former principal at Bear Grass School, was named principal for the Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012. (Submitted Photo)

The appointment of Davis, of Jamesville, was announced recently by the school’s board of directors.

The school, which will focus on coursework in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, will open with its first class of about 60 ninth-grade students in the 2012-2013 school year.

It will serve a five-county region that includes Beaufort, Martin, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington counties.

As director of secondary education, a post he has held since 2010, Davis has been responsible for middle- and high-school programs for Martin County Schools, including the development of curriculum guides, implementation of tests and coordination of district accreditation.

From 1993 to 2010, he was principal of Bear Grass School and earned honors as Principal of the Year for the school district.

Davis earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees along with an advanced certification in agricultural and vocation education from N.C. State University. He received his principal and supervision and administrative certification from East Carolina University.

“Hal Davis has the right vision, leadership skills and knowledge of the Northeastern region to be the ideal leader of this regional innovative … school for our state,” said David Peele, chairman of the school’s board of directors. “He is a veteran principal and will provide the leadership to develop this school into a model for the state and country. Parents and students will benefit from Principal Davis’ close ties to N.C. State and his vision for making sure every student graduates ready for college, careers and life.”

The Beaufort County Board of Education, in a series of votes last year, endorsed the project, but it indicated that students from the county who want to attend the school would be responsible for their own transportation.

The school is among the first in the state that is collaboration among multiple school districts working to develop a school that will offer hands-on learning, computers for every student, internships and other experiences to prepare students for college and careers, according to Todd Silberman, a spokesman for the N.C. New Schools Project.

As an early college high school, students will have the chance to earn as much as two years of tuition-free college credit along with their high school diplomas.

Students at the school will take college courses via the Internet through a partnership with N.C. State University in Raleigh.

Applications to attend the Northeast School are online at www.NERegionalSchool.org, and are available in middle schools in the five counties. Parents who have questions about the new school may send email to info@NERegionalSchool.org. The deadline for applications is May 1.