Students returning to class this month in Washington County public schools will see a few new faces heading their classrooms and some familiar people in new roles.
Alison Woods is one of the latter. A nine-year elementary school teacher in Marietta City Schools, Woods has stepped into the principal’s office at Washington Elementary School.
Early this week Woods was poring over handbooks and schedules, continuing a process of familiarizing herself with the way the school is run.
“I’m getting to know the staff – I already know a lot of them – and this afternoon, I’ll be giving a tour to a new family,” she said.
Woods, 37, taught at Harmar Elementary for nine years and recently completed masters studies in administration through Ohio University, enabling her to be certified as a principal. The Washington school job is unusual – she’s stepped in to the principal’s job for a year while Washington principal Alicia McIntire recovers from medical problems, so it’s a temporary gig that will allow her to test drive a lead administrative position.
McIntire is expected to return to teaching in the second semester this year, and come back to Washington when she feels up to returning to the challenge.
Woods is familiar with the building – she attended elementary school at Washington more than 20 years ago. Now she’s in charge of the school and its 350 students and 34 staff members.
“Now I’ll be teaching teachers instead of teaching kids,” she said. “I hope this will open some doors for the future. I would like to take another administrative position after this.”
Superintendent Will Hampton said that in addition to the change at Washington, Marietta City Schools is bringing in at least five new teachers, along with a new position at Harmar for leading the transitional kindergarten program.
Elsewhere in the county, only one district reported major leadership changes. Warren High School will have a new principal this year after the retirement of Ben Cunningham. His second-in-command, Ryan Lemley, will succeed him as principal.
Lemley has been with the district since 2013, having been a teacher and athletic director in addition to vice principal. The school’s new vice principal will be Jeremy Grimes, an educator with 19 years of teaching experience who is coming from the Logan Elm school district in Circleville.
The district also has a new director of curriculum and instruction, superintendent Kyle Newton said. Kellie Hayden will replace Angela Dunn, who is pursuing other opportunities, Newton said. Hayden comes from an administrative position with the Switzerland of Ohio district, he said.
Warren also has found it necessary to create two new teaching positions because of an enrollment surge over the summer, Newton said.
“We had like 15 applicants within an hour after we posted the job,” Newton said. “It’s great. People want to come to Warren.”
Other districts have new teachers and other front-line education staff coming in.
Fort Frye hired four new teachers, a school psychologist and a high school intervention specialist, superintendent Stephanie Starcher said.
The new teachers are English language teacher Alicia Carter for grades 7-12 at Fort Frye High and Middle School, Monica Carhuay teaching high school Spanish language, Emily Schilling teaching grade four at Salem-Liberty Elementary and Jessica White as a career technical teacher. Paul King was hired as an intervention specialist for the high school, and Miranda Wilson was engaged as school psychologist.
New teachers at Frontier High and Middle School are Kristi Leonard, Tatum Tucker and Rebecca Grizer, and the district also brought on board Brenda Heiney at Newport Elementary and Kayla Burke as the district music teacher, superintendent Brian Rentsch said.
Five new educational personnel are coming to Wolf Creek Local Schools, district treasurer Rachel Miller said. The district’s new athletic director will be Ray Costa, who also will do fill-in teaching work at Waterford High School. Andie Hannon will teacher junior high English language, Baylee Garrett will take fifth grade at Waterford Elementary, Marinda Tennent has been hired as a special education teacher for the high school and Tara Kendall will head a newly formed kindergarten class, made necessary because of high enrollment, Miller said.
Belpre City Schools needed only two new teachers this year, superintendent Tony Dunn said. Ryan Leasure will teach health and physical education, and Hayley Bonar will be the new intervention specialist.
“Both are beginning their careers as educators, and both did their student teaching with us last year,” Dunn said. “We are thrilled to have both of them.”
Staffing change highlights in Washington County schools
•Marietta City Schools: New principal, Washington Elementary, at least five new teachers throughout the system.
•Warren Local Schools: New principal and vice principal, Warren High School, teaching staff increased by two positions, new director of curriculum and instruction.
•Belpre City Schools: two new teachers.
•Frontier Local Schools: five new teachers.
•Wolf Creek Local Schools: five new teachers.
•Fort Frye Local Schools: four new teachers, new school psychologist, new intervention specialist.