The end of every school year brings turnover in principals, either through retirement, resignation or what DCPS likes to call “non-reappointment,” also known as getting canned. But the annual rate of churn is subsiding somewhat. Just 19 of 125 school leadership posts will change hands this summer, Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson told the D.C. Council at her confirmation hearing Thursday. (I actually count 20, and I hear that the list might get a bit longer).
That compares with the 46 new principals former Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee put in place for the 2008-09 school year, 24 in 2009-10 and 28 for the academic year ending today. In all, Rhee turned over more than 90 principals’ posts.
Some of this year’s moves have roiled parent communities. DCPS doesn’t comment on exactly why principals leave, but parents at Amidon-Bowen (Ward 6) and Burrville elementary (Ward 7) say La Shante Knight and Donnie Rutledge were forced out despite doing good work. Parents and staff are disappointed by the resignation of Hearst Elementary’s William Kerlina (Ward 3).
Henderson, who will be appointing her first cohort of principals, told the council that she was enthused by the candidates she was seeing. “We’re thrilled at the quality of principals we are able to attract at this point,” she said.
Here, from Henderson’s office, is the list of schools getting new principals. In parentheses are the leaders who began the school year:
*Amidon-Bowen ES (LaShante Knight)
*Brent ES (Cheryl Hiers-Wilhoyte)
*Burrville ES (Donnie Rutledge)
*Capitol Hill Cluster Schools (Brandon Eatman)
*CHOICE Academy (Fredrick Burton)
*Eaton ES (Jacqueline Gartrell)
*Ferebee-Hope ES (Sharron Stroman)
*Hardy MS (Dana Nerenberg)
*Hearst ES (William Kerlina)
*Jefferson 6th Grade Academy (new position)
*Johnson MS (Pamela Ransome)
*King ES (Valoria Baylor)
*Malcolm X ES (Darwin Bobbitt)
*Marshall ES (Margaret Blake)
*Murch ES (Dawn Ellis)
*Patterson ES (Renee Cottman-Reyes)
*Prospect LC (Joram Regis)
*Savoy ES (Anne Evans)
*Terrell/McGogney ES (Tanya Deskins)
*Eastern HS (William Chiselom)