Local News

School principals, asst. principals on the move

SEBRING - A score card may be needed to keep track of all the school administrative changes in the works for next year. So far four elementary schools will have a principal change and at least five schools will have a new assistant principal for the 2013-14 school year. Coupled with changes at the district office, a new assistant superintendent of curriculum/instruction and a new school board secretary, the 2013-14 school year will be a year of change in many administrative positions. Of the four principal changes, two positions have been filled: Memorial Elementary Assistant Principal Karla Ball will become principal of Lake Country Elementary succeeding Judy Dyer who is retiring. Woodlawn Elementary Principal Kay Bowers will move to Memorial Elementary to succeed Principal Ruby Handley who is retiring.
The current principal openings are at Woodlawn Elementary and Park Elementary, where Brenda Longshore will depart to the district office as assistant superintendent of curriculum/instruction, succeeding Rebecca Fleck who is retiring. The assistant principal changes are as follows: Avon Park Middle Assistant Principal Jennifer Cornell is departing to head a new school in Avon Park, Cornerstone Christian Academy. Superintendent Wally Cox transferred Hill-Gustat Middle Assistant Principal Jackie Allen to Avon Park Middle to replace Cornell. Memorial Elementary has an opening at assistant principal due to the afore mentioned departure of Ball to Lake Country Elementary as principal. Sebring Middle Assistant Principal Stu Guthrie will exit due to requirements of the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (D.R.O.P.). Sun ‘N Lake Elementary Assistant Principal Margie Rhodes has decided to return to the classroom as a teacher. So the current assistant principal openings are at Hill-Gustat and Sebring middle schools and Memorial and Sun ‘N Lake Elementary schools. School District Human Resources Director Vivianne Waldron said Sebring High Assistant Principal Jim Howard is still in the hospital and Cox is waiting to decide on the position. Waldron said there could be more openings because of the “domino effect.” If the principal openings are filled with assistant principals from the district that would create additional assistant principal openings. “We feel really good about our strong pool of AP [assistant principal] candidates,” she said. They have been going through the Aspiring School Administrator Preparation Program. In some years, Cox announces administrative changes on or around the last day of school. Waldron noted, “Sometimes he does that in June, but it is going to depend on ‘who’ he gets placed ‘where’ and then I am sure he will meet with his administrative team and those people from curriculum and HR [human resources] to weigh in on what the landscape looks like at that point.” Cox has not indicated that any further changes are coming, Waldron said. With School Board Administrative Secretary Connie Scobey retiring at the end of the school year, five applicants have been chosen to interview for the position at a special school board meeting at 8:30 a.m., Monday. The following candidates will be interviewed: Penny Decker, Sebring High administrative secretary; Jacqueline Shotts, secretary to director of Student Support Services; Teresa Ware, Management Information Systems data operations technician; Marlene Welborn, Secondary Programs secretary and Tammy Williams, a former employee of the School Board of Highlands County.


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