New: J-M's Crayton named first principal at new Seaforth High School

BY HANNAH MCCLELLAN, News + Record Staff
Posted 1/20/21

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Education named Tripp Crayton as the first principal of Seaforth High School on Wednesday, effective Feb. 15. 

Seaforth, set to open next fall to …

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New: J-M's Crayton named first principal at new Seaforth High School

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Posted

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Schools Board of Education named Tripp Crayton as the first principal of Seaforth High School on Wednesday, effective Feb. 15. 

Seaforth, set to open next fall to 9th and 10th graders, is 98% complete, according to CCS administration. The $74.8 million project is the first high school built in the district since 1972, CCS said in a release announcing the move on Wednesday, with plans to eventually support 1,200 students.

Crayton is the current principal at Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City, a position he's held since 2015.  Over the last 10 months, he's headed the school's efforts to adapt to challenges brought by remote learning — particularly the number of J-M students without reliable broadband. He was named the CCS 2020 Principal of the Year  and is in his 26th year as an educator. 

Crayton told the district he always wanted to open a brand-new school.  The new high school is located off of U.S. Hwy. 64 near Jordan Lake, and configured its attendance zone from the existing Northwood High School attendance zone, due in no small part to significant overcrowding at Northwood.

“After much reflection and thought, I sought the opportunity to become principal of the new high school to fulfill a goal I have desired over time,” Crayton said, quoted in the district's release “My experiences prior to coming to Jordan-Matthews, as well as my experiences there, will help guide me in building the foundation of the new school. It has been an honor working at Jordan-Matthews.”

The interim principal at Jordan-Matthews will be Donna Barger, who has been one of the school’s assistant principals for the past 5.5 years. Barger has been an educator for 24 years. That transition will take place a little more than two weeks after students return to in-person hybrid learning on Feb. 1 — stepping inside the building for a regular school day for the first time since last March. The second semester of classes begins virtually on Thursday.

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