BY MICHAELA GIBSON MORRIS
TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District took the next step in preparing for its 2009-2010 restructuring Tuesday, announcing the principals for its 10 elementary schools.
Five schools – Church Street, Lawhon, Parkway, Lawndale and Milam – will keep the same principals. Principals will change at Carver, Thomas Street, Joyner, Rankin and Pierce Street schools.
“The most important or guiding principle in this process is what's best for our students and their education,” Superintendent Randy McCoy said.
Currently, the district has seven lower elementaries with kindergarten through third grade and three upper elementaries with fourth through sixth grade.
The redistricting plan will create attendance zones that allow all the students from one lower elementary go to the same upper elementary.
Starting in August, there will be five K-2 schools, four schools for third through fifth grade, and one school for sixth grade.
In weighing the principal assignments, McCoy said the district considered educational background, experience as teacher and principal, needs of the school communities, ability to motivate teacher teams and other factors.
“It was a very complex process,” he said.
Thomas Street Elementary's Brenda Robinson will move to Carver Elementary, which will see the biggest change as it switches from an upper elementary to a lower elementary with no overlap in grades.
“That's one of those buildings where they're going to be putting together a whole new staff,” McCoy said. “Mrs. Robinson has been very successful in putting staffs together.”
Robinson also served as principal at Carver and has a great deal of experience with lower elementary students, he said.
Pierce Street's Debbie Davis will move to Thomas Street, staying with lower elementary students in that attendance zone. Carver's Kim Britton will go to Pierce Street, which will become the upper elementary in that zone.
Joyner and Rankin elementaries, which will be paired as lower and upper schools in the same attendance zone, will swap principals. Glenda Scott will be the lower elementary principal at Joyner; Brenda Johnson will be upper elementary principal at Rankin.
Work on staffing the schools will start in January, when teachers send in their letters of intent. Principals and district administrators should have assignments finalized in April or early May after enrollment projections are completed.
“Anytime you're doing a reorganization of schools there is some anxiety,” McCoy said. “Tupelo School District has always been proactive in meeting the needs of the community.”
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris
at (662) 678-1599 or firstname.lastname@example.org.