County schools make administrative shifts

May 09, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Reappointing 30 people holding administrative positions within the Washington County Public Schools system for the next school year was a decision Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said was necessary so the needs of schools could be matched with skills of administrators.

"There's a method to our madness," she said.

Fourteen principals, mostly in elementary schools, three central office staff members, and 13 assistant principals will be shifted into new positions for the 2003-2004 school year.

"You can't move one person into a new school without moving another person into another school," Morgan said.

She said shifting positions is not unusual for the school system and some people ask to be transferred. Last year Washington County Public Schools focused on shifting high school principals into new positions, but this year focuses on elementary schools, she said.


Greenbrier Principal Kathy J. Stiles will move to Eastern Elementary School as principal next school year. Eastern Elementary's current principal, Timothy R. Abe, will move to Fountain Rock as principal.

Eastern Elementary is an "improvement" school because it has failed to meet state standards for two consecutive years.

Stiles is "going in there with her eyes wide open," Morgan said. "We're really expecting her to improve student achievement."

The same will be expected of Ivan M. Williams, supervisor of instructional technology and library media services, who will move to Antietam Academy, formerly known as the Alternative Learning Center, as its new principal.

The school system has recently reposted Eastern Elementary and Antietam Academy positions for the next school year in an effort to improve performance at each school.

Morgan said Williams is well versed in technology and innovative instructional approaches.

"We need to meet kids more than halfway," she said. "I'd like to see more technology pumped into that school."

Fountaindale School for the Arts and Academic Excellence Principal Elaine M. Semler will take Stiles' place at Greenbrier. Semler's position at Fountaindale remains open and Morgan said the school system will advertise that position.

Conococheague Elementary School Principal Sue Ellen Gordon will become principal at Paramount Elementary School next year.

"We were looking at skill set and we felt we needed Sue Gordon elsewhere," Morgan said.

James E. Newkirk, currently the elementary supervisor for early childhood, reading and social studies, will take over as principal at Pangborn Elementary School next year.

Newkirk's experience as a former principal and as an elementary supervisor will benefit Pangborn, Morgan said.

"He's a person with high energy and we need people with high energy as principals," she said.

The current principal at Clear Spring Elementary, Jill Burkhart, will fill his position at the central office.

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