It looks like another principal has been frosted enough by life in DCPS to try the cupcake business. District officials confirmed today that Noyes Education Campus Principal Adell Cothorne has resigned after one year at the school in Northeast Washington. School officials would not elaborate on the departure.
According to a still-under-construction Web site, Cothorne is joining former Hearst Elementary principal Bill Kerlina as co-owner of Cooks ‘n Cakes, a gourmet cupcake venture. Kerlina resigned last month from Hearst and said he hopes to open a store in Columbia. Neither could be reached for comment this afternoon.
Noyes, which serves students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, has been under scrutiny for elevated rates of answer sheet erasures on the DC CAS tests that were detected during the tenure of Cothorne’s predecessor, Wayne Ryan. He resigned June 17 after serving a year as instructional superintendent, the post he was promoted to by former chancellor Michelle A. Rhee. Ryan did not respond to requests for an interview, and officials would not comment on his exit.
A USA Today investigation published in March found that Noyes was one of more than 100 schools between 2008 and 2010 with at least one classroom that showed an extraordinarily high rate of erasures on answer sheets in which wrong answers were changed to correct answers. Noyes had among the highest concentration of “flagged” classrooms, according to the newspaper’s analysis. Chancellor Kaya Henderson has asked the D.C. Inspector General to investigate the paper’s findings.
There’s nothing to indicate that Cothorne’s departure is related to the erasure investigation. Like Kerlina, Cothorne, 40, came from the Montgomery County school system. Also, like Kerlina, she was known to be unhappy with the way DCPS operated. Sources who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of personnel matters say she clashed with Ryan, who for a time was her immediate supervisor.
She is described on the cupcake site as the culinary half of the partnership: “Adell, a master baker, has over 15 years of baking experience and has mastered her frostings to ensure that each bite you take will leave you wanting more.”