Joe Sharp returns to Baldwin to lead RHS

Joe Roh leaves Robertsdale for new assistant principal position at Fairhope High

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 5/30/18

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — From one Joe to another, Silverhill native and RHS graduate Joe Sharp has been tapped to replace Joe Roh as principal at Robertsdale High School after Roh accepted a newly …

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Joe Sharp returns to Baldwin to lead RHS

Joe Roh leaves Robertsdale for new assistant principal position at Fairhope High

Posted

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — From one Joe to another, Silverhill native and RHS graduate Joe Sharp has been tapped to replace Joe Roh as principal at Robertsdale High School after Roh accepted a newly created assistant principal position at Fairhope High.

A 1986 graduate of Robertsdale High School, Sharp received a scholarship to play football at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1991, returning to teach physical education at Robertsdale Elementary School and coached for the Golden Bears under David Stapleton (1992-93).

Sharp served as defensive coordinator under Fred Riley (1994-98) before taking the athletic director/head coach position at Fairhope High in 1999 leaving to help start the football program at Spain Park High School in Hoover in 2001.

While in the Birmingham area, Sharp received a Master’s Degree in educational leadership from the University of Montevallo. In 2005, he left Alabama for Cobb County, Georgia, serving at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, 20 miles northwest of Atlanta before leaving in 2008 to serve as principal at Thomas County Central High School in Thomasville, Georgia, 225 miles south of Atlanta.

Sharp served as director of Administration Services for the Thomas County (Georgia) School System completing his education with a specialist’s degree in educational leadership from Valdosta State University before returning to Sprayberry in 2012 as assistant principal, where he currently serves as principal.

“It’s been 18 years since I’ve been in Baldwin County,” Sharp said, “and I’m looking forward to renewing all of those relationships I formed with the people here growing up, teaching and coaching, as well as forging new relationships with people I have yet to meet.”

Roh and Sharp share several similarities in their careers. A graduate of Auburn University with a B.S. in marine biology and a Master’s in secondary education science, Roh spent 10 years at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia, where he taught a wide variety of science courses, including IB biology, AP biology, ESOL biology, chemistry and ecology. He also coached football, soccer and volleyball.

Roh came to Alabama in 2006, teaching biology for a year at Robertsdale High School before going to Daphne High in 2007, where he served as International Baccalaureate coordinator.

During his tenure at DHS he earned his administrative degree from the University of South Alabama and took on the duties as assistant principal in 2009, along with the duties of IB coordinator.

He was appointed in 2014 to fill the position at RHS following the resignation of Dr. Craig Ross, who was appointed to fill the position in October 2011 following the retirement of Theresa Bryant.

“What I am most proud of during my tenure her at RHS is the number of quality people that I’ve been able to hire,” said Roh, who has filled more than 80 positions in his four-year tenure.

Among those hirings were two band directors, the creation of the school’s agricultural and landscaping program under John Manning, ROTC Commander Lt. Col. Scott Meehan, who replaced the program’s founder Commander Gary Watkins, and most recently a new head football coach/athletic director Chase Smith.

During Roh’s tenure, the school has also been able to secure two major grants, an A+ Education Foundation Grant used to help fund testing for Advanced Placement students, which runs out this year; and a $450,000 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) used to fund Project B.E.A.R. an afterschool program in which the funds were used primarily to pay transportation costs to transport students from outlying areas. The 3-year grant runs through 2019.

“I sincerely hope that Mr. Sharp can find the funding to keep these two programs going,” Roh said. “These have been two hugely successful programs for this school.”

Like Roh four years ago, Sharp will have to hit the ground running when he takes over the position at RHS on June 15, having to fill several key positions, including one of three assistant principal positions following the retirement of longtime faculty member and fellow RHS graduate Teddy Mitchell.

“He will have some big shoes to fill,” Roh said, “and I feel confident that he will be up to the task.”

Sharp said he has already met with staff members and assistant principals Steven Grant and Janie Gravely and will be ready to get to work when he comes to RHS in two weeks.

“I want to continue to work to make Robertsdale High School a place that students, teachers, parents and the community can be proud of,” Sharp said.

Meanwhile, Roh will fill a newly created assistant principal at Fairhope High where the oldest daughter, Susan, of he and his wife Shannon graduated in 2016 and son, Joey, will be a senior next year.

“That’s one of the first things we talked about when this position came up, and he’s OK with it,” said Roh, who also has two younger children, Mary Elizabeth, who will be in eighth grade at Fairhope Middle; and Jimmy, who will be a fifth grader at Fairhope Intermediate.

As for his duties at Fairhope High, Roh said that will be up to Principal Jon Cardwell.

“I have a lot of IP experience and hopefully I will be able to help out there,” Roh said, “but that will certainly be up to (Cardwell).”