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Lorain Schools names all but 2 turnaround principals


LORAIN — All but two of the Lorain school district’s turnaround principals for next school year have been set.

District CEO David Hardy announced the final selections Friday night, saying he believes the school leaders will understand “the urgency of the moment and are ready to do whatever it takes to makes sure that our teachers feel great about getting better at their craft and scholars and their families realize their educational dreams.”

Hardy has said the new turnaround principal position will be one of three positions designed to replace the traditional building principal model and will instead allow for school administrators to focus more on specific areas.

“These tremendous leaders have spent years as teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators in our district and districts throughout the country,” he said. “Their combined experience, passion, and conviction is invigorating.”

The turnaround principal is designed to focus on a school building’s instructional needs rather than day-to-day managerial ones with two deans — one for academics and another for student and family engagement — being added as well.

Hardy said the turnaround principals for next year will be:

  •  Chantelle Lewis, Larkmoor Elementary School
  •  Supriya Culliton. Washington Elementary School
  •  Lori Witt, Admiral King Elementary School
  •  Brigette Kaiser, Toni Morrison Elementary School
  •  Paula Baldwin, Frank Jacinto Elementary School
  •  Megan Young, Garfield Elementary School
  •  Carol Winter, Palm Elementary School
  •  Stephanie Alexander-Johnson, Hawthorne Elementary School
  •  Marie Deshuk, Stevan Dohanos Elementary School
  •  Brandon Easton, Helen Steiner Rice Elementary School
  •  Kejuana Jefferson, General Johnnie Wilson Middle School
  •  Rae Bastock, Longfellow Middle School

The turnaround principals for Southview Middle School and Lorain High School haven’t been selected; Hardy said those names will be announced after they are finalized.

Hardy has said he is not releasing the external candidates’ names until after the final choices are made because he wants to protect their identities, but attorney and public record expert Tim Smith has said it’s actually a violation of the state’s records laws.

Eight of the final selections are internal candidates who have previously served as principals or assistant principals in the district but were not necessarily assigned to the same building next year.

At least six of the district’s current principals were not selected to be turnaround principals, but Hardy has said they could be selected for a dean position if they apply, or depending on their tenure and contract could return to the classroom to teach.

The next step, he said, is for the principals to select their deans, a decision that mostly will be left to them.

“We’re going to give them the applications and they’re going be ranking their top candidates for each position one through three,” he said. “And then from there we’ll try to make sure everyone gets at least one of their top choices.”

Hardy said he hopes to have all of those individuals in place by the beginning of next month so the planning for next year can begin.

“Transformation is here,” he said. “After hours of resume reviews, phone screenings, daylong interviews, and community input from over 150 community members, teachers, parents, and scholars, we have arrived at the list of leaders who will lead us in the relentless pursuit of educational equity for the young people of Lorain. We will no longer hope for things to change for our kids. We have a team in place who is ready to make it happen.”

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Find her at facebook.com/KatieHNix or on Twitter @KatieHNix.

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