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The Moore County Board of Education was informed of the approval of a transfer request for Crain’s Creek Middle School Principal, Melonie Jones, at their regular business meeting Monday evening.

Jones requested a transfer to an assistant principal position at Pinecrest High School, announced the school district in a press release. The transfer begins March 1.

The transfer comes on the heels of recent reports of violent incidents involving Crain’s Creek Middle School students that have surfaced on social media.

Scott Absher will be the interim principal of Crain’s Creek.

In regards to Jones’ transfer request, Superintendent Dr. Locklair said the following: “I have great respect and appreciation for Melonie and her service to Moore County Schools since 1999.  I greatly appreciate her commitment and work at Crain’s Creek Middle School and I look forward to her continued leadership with Moore County Schools.  I am excited to see her positive impact on the students and staff at Pinecrest High School.”

Melonie Jones. Photo by Moore County Schools.

On Oct. 7, 2022, a video circulated on Facebook depicting a violent clash between two students. In a separate incident on Oct. 19, 2022, a Crain’s Creek Middle School student in a group text threatened to bring a weapon to school.

After these incidents, about 80 concerned parents gathered at Sandy Ramey Keith Park in Vass to discuss their concerns with the school administration. Moore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Locklair and Moore County Schools Police Chief Rodney Hardy were in attendance. Locklair addressed the crowd and told them he heard their concerns, and steps were being taken.

Despite these words, some parents were still concerned. A group of parents gathered outside Crain’s Creek Middle School at the end of October protesting the ongoing issues at the school. Some parents felt that Jones attempted to cover up happenings at the school and failed to communicate with parents promptly. 

Parents discuss issues at a small protest at Crain’s Creek Middle School in October 2022/Sandhills Sentinel.

Parents and concerned citizens spoke out regarding the personnel problems and incidents at Monday’s school board meeting before Jones’ transfer was announced. 

Jones started her education career as a Pinecrest teacher in 1999. “I feel honored and humbled to have been the principal at Crain’s Creek Middle School for the last 5 years, and I will be forever grateful for the relationships that I have built with the students, staff, parents, and community,” said Jones in the press release.

Absher previously retired from Moore County Schools after serving as principal of North Moore High School. He has continued serving Moore County Schools in a part-time role as the Scholarship Coordinator at Union Pines High School and has served in other interim principal capacities. 

“We look forward to his continuous commitment and service to our students, parents, staff and community as he assumes the position of Interim Principal at Crain’s Creek Middle School,” said the school district in the press release.

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