WS/FCS announces school leadership changes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 5, 2020

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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is making several key school leadership changes across the district. The changes are directly related to House Bill 377 which allows for Principal Recruitment Supplements and aims to help recruit proven principals to lead consistently low-performing schools.

The legislation gives school districts the ability to make leadership roles in under-performing schools more attractive. The bill makes some state funds available to increase the salary for a seasoned principal with a proven track record of leading schools to consistently perform at some of the state’s highest levels. To be eligible for the state funds, the legislation includes a limited timeframe in which the changes must be made. WS/FCS is also mirroring the legislation and using some local funds to offer similar incentives.

“We informed principals in January of this state and local opportunity and several expressed an interest,” said Dr. Angela Hairston, WS/FCS superintendent. “Those who volunteered had to have a track record of school success and be what our district leadership team considered the best match for the under-performing schools that also met the state’s criteria.”

WS/FCS worked with the interested and qualified principals and paired them with district schools that had a recurring School Performance Grade (SPG) of ‘F’ for five years, or have consistently been on the North Carolina Low-Performing Schools list, or have been identified as schools that could be taken over by the North Carolina Innovative School District if academic performance is not improved.

“A recurring ‘F’ is simply not acceptable,” said Hairston. “I believe these under-performing schools can do better. These changes will bring fresh ideas, trusted direction and proven leadership from some of our veteran principals who know how to help schools and students grow.”

Schools receiving new principals that have maintained a SPG of ‘F’ for the last 5 years include Ashley, Easton, and Kimberley Park. Old Town and Ibraham both dropped from SPG of ‘D’ in 2018 to an ‘F’ in 2019 and both were also identified as schools that could be taken over by the North Carolina Innovative School District if academic performance is not improved.    

Under the reassignment plan:

  • Alicia Bailey moves from Cash Elementary to Petree Elementary
  • Angie Choplin moves from Lewisville Elementary to Ibraham Elementary
  • Diamond Cotton moves from Rural Hall Elementary to Kimberley Park Elementary
  • Joanell Gatling moves from South Fork Elementary to Ashley Elementary
  • Debra Gladstone moves from Mineral Springs Elementary and Middle to Old Town Elementary
  • Ramona Warren moves from Morgan Elementary to Easton Elementary.

The current principals at Ibraham, Ashley, Easton and Old Town are being reassigned to new administrative roles within the district. Their leadership is valued, and district leaders feel their skills will serve well in other capacities.

A district search team will immediately begin the process to find new, highly qualified principals for Cash, Lewisville, Rural Hall, South Fork, Morgan, and Mineral Springs Elementary and Middle Schools. Interims are in place during the transition.