While the principals are not new to the district, they are all in new schools, and once again most of the changes are taking place in South and Central DeKalb and at the elementary school level.
For the 2012-2013 school year, 37 principals have been switched around at schools in South and central DeKalb, and 26 elementary schools have new leadership. Nine high schools, six middle schools and three centers also got new principals.
Redan and Salem middle schools switched principals, with Redan’s Shelia Johnson-Reese trading places with Salem’s Donald Mason.
Johnson-Reese, who has been an educator in DeKalb for 23 years, including nine as an administrator, said the change in principals is good.
“I think it’s important to match the needs of the community and the skills of the principal,” she said.
The principal shake-ups come six months after the conclusion of Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson’s 90-day plan, which included her visiting every DeKalb school to gather information about each school.
School spokesman Walter Woods said one of the district’s core goals in its five-year strategic plan is “excellence in leadership and personnel.”
“The district has worked over the past several months to ensure that we have strong leaders in every position in central office, every classroom and in every principal’s office,” Woods said. “This is an ongoing process as we find the best leaders to improve student success.”
In some cases, high school principals were moved to elementary schools, among them former Southwest DeKalb High principal Angela Bethea, who is now principal at Clifton Elementary in Atlanta. Arabia Mountain High principal LaShawn McMillan is now the principal at Ashford Park Elementary in Atlanta.
Despite parents’ attempts to keep former Stephenson High principal Brian Bolden, he is now the principal at McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur.
Former Clifton Elementary principal Sandra Clay moved to Chapel Hill Elementary. Clay, a 27-year educator, said the changes are good for the principals and students.
“Some of us had been in places for an extended time and some of the principals I’ve talked to said they are pleased with where they are,” she said. “They’re all our kids in DeKalb. We’re all instructional leaders and we can dance in any school.”
Other changes at elementary schools are:
- In Decatur – Dr. Ann Culbreath takes over at Briarlake Elementary; Susan Freeman at Flat Shoals Elementary; Johnathan Clark at McLendon Elementary; Laconduas Freeman at Midway Elementary; and Rodney Mallory moves from Shadow Rock Center to Oak View Elementary.
Former Chapel Hill Middle principal Carlous Daniels takes over at Columbia Middle in Decatur, and former Pine Ridge Elementary principal Debra Phillips will take Daniels’ place at Chapel Hill in Decatur. Annette Williams is at McNair Middle.
Former Columbia Middle principal Stephanie Amey moves up to Columbia High; former Stone Mountain High principal Carolyn Williams moves to Southwest DeKalb; and Donevin Hoskins, who was principal in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System in Charlotte, N.C., is at Towers.
- In Stone Mountain – Former McNair Discovery Learning Academy principal Marchell Boston takes over at Stone Mill Elementary; former Oak View principal Sandra Wilson moves to Pine Ridge Elementary; Patrick Muhammad at Rockbridge Elementary; Ron Kitchens at Eldridge Miller Elementary; and Jermain Sumler-Faison to Wynbrooke Elementary.
Corey Davidson takes over at Freedom Middle in Stone Mountain. Former Freedom Middle principal Michael Jones will take the helm at Stephenson High and former McNair High principal James Jones is now at Stone Mountain High.
- In Lithonia – Bridgett Allen takes over at Marbut Elementary; Michael Williamson moves from Chapel Hill Elementary to Rock Chapel Elementary; Zack Philips takes over at Flat Rock Elementary; and Ledra Jackson at Stoneview Elementary.
Rodney Swanson will be Arabia Mountain High’s third principal in the school’s four-year history.
- In Clarkston – Antonette Campbell will take over at Indian Creek Elementary, and Robert Moseley, former deputy chief superintendent for school operations, to Jolly Elementary.
- In Atlanta – Annette Maclin takes over at Hawthorne Elementary and Melanie Pearch at Woodward Elementary. Glynis Jordan takes over at McNair High.
Katrina Massey takes over at Robert Shaw Elementary in Scottdale and Dr. Charles Maxwell at Destiny Academy of Excellence in Ellenwood.
- In Dunwoody – Former Briarlake Elementary principal Beth Ogletree takes over at Austin Elementary, Dr. Richard Reid takes over at Chesnut Elementary, and Jennifer Sanders at Dunwoody Elementary. Noel Maloof moves up from Vanderlyn Elementary to Dunwoody High.
- In Doraville – Jennifer Leupold takes over at Cary Reynolds Elementary, and Rita Harper at Oakcliff Elementary.
Three centers also got new principals. Margie Smith takes over at DeKalb Alternative School in Stone Mountain, Terry Segovis at the DeKalb International Student Center in Atlanta, and Dr. Feleica McClain-Sturdivant takes over at Shadow Rock Center in Lithonia.