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Duval School Board approves principal appointments for more than 30 schools

Posted: June 10, 2014 - 3:42am  |  Updated: June 15, 2014 - 8:54am

Related: The following list details principal name and school assigned

Principal – School

Alexander, Clemijene - Merrill Road Elementary School

Bays, Judith Kim - Kernan Middle School

Begley, Christopher - Lake Shore Middle School

Bennett, Tina - Seabreeze Elementary School

Brown, Jennifer - EBD Elementary School

Brown, Viveca - Long Branch Elementary School

Byerley, Megan - S.P. Livingston Elementary School

Collins, Jennifer - Venetia Elementary School

Doyle, Casie - Chaffee Trail Elementary School

Emanuel-Wright, Tiffany- Love Grove Elementary School

Ertel, Mark - Duval Virtual Instructional Academy

Gerdes, Barbara - Garden City Elementary School

Gray, Jennifer - Don Brewer Elementary School

Haberman, Tammy - Holiday Hill Elementary School

Jackson, Christopher - Ribault High School

Jackson, Stephanie - Pine Forest Elementary School

Kemp, Kristie - Loretto Elementary School

Knight, Lianna - LaVilla Middle School

Manabat, Stephanie – San Pablo Elementary School

McKinney, Marva - Cedar Hills Elementary School

Milner-Smith, Sadie -JEB Stuart Middle School

Mitchell, Tarsha - Hyde Park Elementary School

Myers, Vontrena - EBD Secondary

Nascimento, Misael - San Jose Elementary School

Nesmith, Maurice - Mattie V. Rutherford

Paul, Eric - Edward White Hiqh School

Pryer, Aleya - Bridge to Success

Robinson, Edward - Department of Juvenile Justice

Sharp, Lindsay - Alden Road Exceptional Student Education Center

Shore, Kristen - Abess Park Elementary School

Streeter, Lashaun - Annie Morgan Elementary School

Williams, Tamara - Butler Middle School for Girls

The Duval County School Board approved 34 principal and district-level administrator appointments recommended by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti who said the moves will help develop educators experienced in raising student achievement.

“This is tweaking and refining, not an overhaul,” Vitti told the Times-Union after the nearly four-hour board meeting Monday night in which some board members asked for an explanation of the personnel moves.

The board approved the assignments including bringing in Anthony Anderson from the Palm Beach School District, where he served as a principal, to be a middle school region chief. It also approved the promotion of region chief Addison Davis to chief of schools.

Much of the discussion focused on the principal appointments, and their future role in student achievement.

Vitti decided to recommend appointments prior to Friday’s release of Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results, which showed that Duval County students performed better in science than a year ago, but had mixed scores in reading and math skills. Duval improved in six of the 14 accountability categories. However, it remains below the Florida average in some areas, the FCAT results showed.

Those mixed results after the first year of his administration which saw curriculum, personnel and budget changes, Vitti said, show “this is a marathon, this is not a sprint and we have a lot of work to do.”

The principal changes along with restructuring the role of the region chiefs, Vitti said, ultimately will lead to improved student achievement. Next year, each region chief will supervise fewer principals. The goal is to strengthen the alignment between the region chief and curriculum team.

“We do not have a bench in Duval County Public Schools. The hardest thing to do is to make, select principal changes when there are few people on that bench …We need to develop leaders at the school level,” said Vitti, adding he is open to getting feedback from the community about what they want in a leader of their school.


Board member Paula Wright asked Vitti to explain the principal changes at Ed White and Ribault high schools.

Christopher Jackson, now principal at Ed White, will become Ribault principal. New hire Eric Paul will become Ed White principal. Edward Robinson, now Ribault principal will become principal of the state Department of Juvenile Justice programs in the school district. The changes take effect July 1.

Paul most recently was vice president of curriculum and instruction for Charter Schools USA. Before that Paul was an area director of accountability in the Palm Beach School District, where he also had served as a principal.

Wright said she was concerned about stability. Jackson has been at Ed White two years, while Robinson has been Ribault High’s principal two years.

“Is it possible you could have given these principals additional support since they have already been in the building and they have established relationships?” asked Wright, also asking whether leaving each principal at their current schools another year would allow them to be in the best position to take the school forward.

Vitti replied that he was taking a long-term approach to the schools and making the best fit for a principal’s skills and talent. After the meeting, he told the Times-Union that Jackson wanted to go to Ribault.

And it was a matter of putting principals where they were needed most. That included the previous moves of making Evan Daniels the principal of Andrew Jackson High School, and Vincent Hall the principal at Raines High School, Vitti said

“I think I have three of my very best high school principals in my most fragile schools,” Vitti said.

As part of Vitti’s organizational changes for 2014-15, the region chiefs will get the new title of assistant superintendent to align the title with workplace standards. Their title will change but not their salaries.

Another change is concentrating the role of chief of schools to focus on school leadership and leadership development, he told the board.


In another personnel matter, Duval Teachers United urged the School Board to reject a budget proposal by Vitti that would result in 65 of the district’s 239 security guards likely losing their positions.

Ruby George, union executive vice president, said the cuts would affect student learning because the security guards now make sure the children and employees are safe.

“They were essential this year. They will be essential next year,” George said.

The district is hammering out its 2014-15 budget. It’s going to be tight, Vitti said during a Tuesday board workshop.

Saying she was uncomfortable cutting security guards, Wright called on the board — both Monday night and again during Tuesday’s workshop — to re-evaluate the budget items that it has previously approved to see if they are necessary or if there is something that could be changed to find money.

“If we have to RIF, [have a reduction in force] we have to make certain every initiative, every project, every item is on the table and we don’t have any sacred cows,” Wright said.

Board member Jason Fischer said Tuesday although he doesn’t want anyone to lose their job, he wasn’t in favor of “rehashing, restarting the budget process” at this point.

Teresa Stepzinski: (904) 359-4075

Comments (3)

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johnctaughtme 06/10/14 - 07:10 pm
Premium Member
So true "uglydoggy".

So true "uglydoggy".

uglydoggy 06/10/14 - 02:44 pm
Ain't going to work. Now, if

Ain't going to work.

Now, if he could change the parents, that might work.

johnctaughtme 06/10/14 - 10:51 am
Premium Member
"Change de jour" equals

"Change de jour" equals progress? We shall see, it will show up in the numbers, if that is in fact the case.

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