Educators From As Far As Colorado, New York, Join Duval Schools With Principal Changes

Jun 2, 2014

About three dozen Duval County Public School principals will start at a new school this fall, bringing the total count of principal changes in the district for the year to nearly 50.

The district released the list of 35 new principal assignments over the weekend.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said he met with each principal individually last week to inform them of the changes. The district also held faculty meetings  at each school to discuss it. The last meeting was held Friday.

“None of these changes represent change for the sake of change,”  Vitti said. “ Instead it’s a continuing review of putting the right people on the bus and them having to be on the right seat on the bus.”

The "Commander" mascot of Ed White High School stands with students at a pep rally. Ed White is among the schools that will get new principals next school year.
Credit Duval County Public Schools

Vitti said the moves were focused particularly on improving leadership at the middle school level where student enrollment continues to lag.

“Our data indicates that we’re losing when it comes from elementary to middle school that transition and I think a lot of that has to do with leadership,” he said.

Next year, four veteran elementary school principals will move to middle school positions.

Chris Begley will go from Loretto Elementary to Lake Shore Middle; Kim Bays will move from her principal position at San Pablo to head Kernan Middle; and Tamara Williams will move from Pine Forest Elementary to become principal of Butler’s new all-female academy. She will be joined by Sam Scavella, who formerly served in Atlanta as principal of Booker T. Washington High School of Health Science and Nutrition.

Four other principals will arrive from outside Duval County and as far away as Colorado. Eric Paul, the South Florida Regional Director of Charter Schools USA, will assume a new post as the principal of Ed White High School.

Students and parents will get a chance to meet the new principals this week.

Coupled with 14 mid-year switches made by Vitti in January, the district has seen a total of 49 principal changes this year.

The new administrators will officially assume their new positions the Monday after this school year ends.

Here is the full list of new principal assignments for 2014-15:

  1. Abess Park: Kristen Shore
  2. Alden Road: Lindsey Sharpe
  3. Annie Morgan: Lashaun Streeter
  4. Bridge To Success Middle: Aleya Prier
  5. Butler (boys): Sam Scavella (Atlanta)
  6. Butler (girls): Tamara Williams
  7. Cedar Hills: Marva McKinney
  8. Chaffee Trail: Casie Doyle
  9. Dept. of Juvenile Justice: Ed Robinson
  10. Don Brewer: Jennifer Gray
  11. Duval Virtual: Mark Ertel
  12. Ed White: Eric Paul (Charter USA/West Palm Beach)
  13. EBD Elementary: Jennifer Brown
  14. EBD Secondary: Vontrena Myers
  15. Garden City: Barbara Gerdes
  16. GRASP: Amanda Sauer (Colorado)
  17. G.W. Carver: Katrina Riley (New Orleans)
  18. Holiday Hill: Tammy Haberman
  19. Hyde Park: Tarsha Mitchell
  20. JEB Stuart: Sadie Milner Smith
  21. Kernan Middle: Kim Bays
  22. LaVilla: Lianna Knight
  23. Lakeshore: Chris Begley
  24. Long Branch: Viveca Brown
  25. Loretto: Kristie Kemp
  26. Love Grove: Tiffany Emanuel-Wright
  27. Mattie V. Rutherford: Maurice Nesmith
  28. Merrill Road: Jene Alexander
  29. Pine Forest: Stephanie Jackson
  30. Ribault Sr.: Chris Jackson
  31. San Pablo: Stephanie Manabat
  32. San Jose: Misael Nascimento (New York)
  33. Seabreeze: Tina Bennett
  34. S.P. Livingston: Megan Byerly
  35. Venetia: Jennifer Collins

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.