Much like pinball where one change has an effect on everything, so, too, does one or two principals changing positions within a school district.
Retirements and leadership changes mean at least eight Marion County public schools will have new principals starting July 1.
The latest principal appointments by Superintendent Jim Yancey include:
Dunnellon High – Ken McAteer moves here from West Port High, where he was assistant principal. He was chosen last month to lead Reddick-Collier but will now head to Marion County’s western-most high school instead. McAteer started with the district in 1998 as an American History teacher at Belleview High. He served as dean there starting in 2004 then moved two years later to West Port High, where he served as assistant principal. McAteer graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in educational leadership.
Liberty Middle – Michelle Lewis moves here from Dunnellon High, where she was principal. The district hired Lewis in 1997 as a teacher at Dunnellon High. She advanced to assistant principal positions at Fort King Middle and West Port High. In 2006, she was named principal at Dunnellon High, her alma mater. Her bachelor’s in finance comes from the University of Florida while her master’s in education leadership is from NOVA Southeastern University.
MTI (Marion Technical Institute) – Isaac Burgess moves here from Liberty Middle, where he was principal. The district hired Burgess, a Vanguard High graduate, in 1997 to teach at Belleview High. Six years later, he became assistant principal at West Port Middle and then Forest High in 2005. He was named Sunrise Elementary principal in 2007 and was appointed to Liberty Middle principal two years ago. Burgess’ bachelor’s in psychology comes from Florida A&M while his master’s in educational leadership is from NOVA Southeastern University. Burgess replaces current MTI Principal Pam Roberts, who moves to the district level as a middle school coordinator.
Romeo Elementary – Jane Ashman moves here as principal from Dunnellon Middle, where she was principal. Ashman joined the district in 1986 as a teacher at Dunnellon High. She moved to Belleview High and became assistant principal there in 1999. Two years later, she moved as AP to Romeo Elementary. She was appointed to her current principal position at Dunnellon Middle eight years ago. Ashman holds a bachelor’s in Spanish from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Florida. Ashman replaces Kathy Hultman, who’s retiring after 27 years with the district.
Yancey previously announced Cheryl Laffey as the new principal at Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary from Saddlewood Elementary, where Jennifer Beck becomes the new principal.
Last month, Yancey also announced three other elementary schools will keep their interim principals as fully-appointed principals – Ryan Bennett at Anthony Elementary, Rusty Corley at East Marion, and Melissa Kinard at Wyomina Park.
At this time, principal positions at two schools – Dunnellon Middle and Reddick-Collier Elementary – remain vacant.