published Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Brainerd High principal, 2 others, being reassigned

Brainerd High School Principal Charles Joynes and two other Hamilton County principals will be reassigned next school year to comply with a $500,000 state grant the school system has been promised.

The School Innovation Zone grant, aimed at improving schools that perform in the bottom 5 percent, requires new leadership for schools in that category whose principals have been in place for two years or longer, Superintendent Rick Smith said.

In addition to Joynes, Woodmore Elementary School Principal Visa Harper and Dalewood Middle School Principal Rodney Johnson will be assigned different duties. Smith said the three will not be dismissed, but it’s still undetermined whether they will remain principals or be reassigned to other positions.

Principals at Orchard Knob Elementary School and Orchard Knob Middle School, also part of the proposed innovation zone, will stay because they have not yet worked two years in those jobs, Smith said.

The district’s first application for the innovation zone wasn’t granted, but the system will have a chance to reapply later this year. The $500,000 is a planning grant to help lay the foundation for an innovation zone, a special district within the school system.

The state has a pot of about $35 million in federal funds to grant toward innovation zones, which allow systems to use nontraditional means of educating students, such as implementing a longer school day or year.

The superintendent said several principals will retire after this school year, including Alpine Crest Elementary School Principal Karen Day, McConnell Elementary School Principal Joy Black and Wallace A. Smith Elementary School Principal Billie Jenno.

Pam Dantzler, principal of East Hamilton Middle-High School, has also announced her retirement.

Smith said he expects a few more principals to announce retirements in the coming weeks, but replacements for the vacant principal jobs won’t be named at least until after state exams, which take place next week.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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