Retirements and promotions have brought several changes to the principal positions at Prince William County schools. Among the new appointments are:

J. Thomas Payne, assistant principal at Fred Lynn Middle School since 1991, has been named principal there. Payne earlier served as coordinator of minority achievement for Yorktown High School in Arlington. A graduate of Howard University with a bachelor's degree in zoology and applied health, Payne earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of the District of Columbia.

Timothy L. Healey, assistant principal at Osbourn Park High School since February 1997, will take over as principal. A graduate of James Madison University with a bachelor's degree in English, Healey came to Prince William in 1989 to teach English at Woodbridge High School. Healey earned a master's degree in educational administration from Virginia Tech.

Wayne A. Ralston, assistant principal at River Oaks Elementary for three years, is the new principal of Kerrydale Elementary School. Ralston began his career teaching educable mentally retarded students at Marsteller Middle School and language arts and third grade at Yorktown Elementary School. Ralston received his bachelor's and master's degrees from William and Mary and a doctorate in educational administration from Virginia Tech.

David Cassady, formerly an administrative assistant at Hylton High School, will become an assistant principal. A former social studies teacher at Hylton, Cassady has served as assistant summer school principal there and as principal of the alternative education night school at Potomac High. A graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in social studies, Cassady has a master's degree in language arts curriculum from George Mason University.

Cynthia Wrenn Swecker, a language arts curriculum specialist for the school division, will move to the assistant principal's position at Parkside Elementary School. A graduate of George Mason with a bachelor's degree in education and a master's in curriculum and instruction, Swecker served for four years as president of the Prince William Education Association. She also taught at Stonewall and Beville Middle schools and Nokesville and Rockledge Elementary schools.