Local News

Cox seeks to shuffle schools top spots

Superintendent Wally Cox is recommending personnel changes that would put a new principal in three of the district’s four middle schools and at the Kindergarten Learning Center.

Along with three previous approved elementary school principal changes, seven of the district’s 17 schools will have new principals for the 2014-15 school year. Also, the district is in the middle of a big shift in assistant principals involving nine positions.

In Cox’s most recent recommendations, Hill-Gustat Middle School Principal Chris Doty would move to Lake Placid Middle as principal while Lake Placid Middle Principal Julia Burnett shifts to the Kindergarten Learning Center as principal.

Kindergarten Learning Center Principal Seth Lambert would move to Avon Park Middle as principal while Avon Park Middle Interim Principal Jackie Allen moves to Hill-Gustat Middle as principal.

Cox recommended the following assistant principal moves: Michael Halpern from Lake Placid Middle to Lake Placid Elementary, Jessica Thayer from Avon Park High to Avon Park Middle and Jennifer Sanchez from Hill-Gustat Middle to Lake Placid Middle.

Cox’s personnel recommendations are subject to approval by the School Board of Highlands County.

Human Resources Director Vivianne Waldron said interviews will conclude on Monday for six assistant principal positions at the following schools: Cracker Trail Elementary, Avon Elementary, the new second assistant principal position at Lake Placid Elementary, Hill-Gustat Middle, Avon Park High and Sebring High.

Cox had recommended a second assistant principal position for Lake Placid Elementary due its large enrollment, which was at 877 on the May 9.

Waldron said the district has 16 applicants for the three elementary assistant principal openings and 12 applicants for the three secondary level assistant principal openings.

The school board recently approved, for the 2014-15 school year, Erica Ashley’s promotion from assistant principal to principal of Lake Country Elementary and Carla Ball’s transfer from principal of Lake Country Elementary to principal of Avon Elementary and Jeannie Inagawa’s promotion from assistant principal to principal of Cracker Trail Elementary.

Cracker Trail Elementary Principal Rick Demeri and Avon Elementary Principal Pam Burnham are both retiring at the end of the school year.


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