A number of Pickerington schools have new faces in their principal's offices for the 2013-14 school year after the district reorganized its administrative team.
Transition will be a recurring theme this year for the Pickerington Local School District, which is in the midst of a major curriculum shift to the Common Core, an initiative launched by the National Governors' Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers amid concern that American students were falling behind their peers around the world.
Additionally, Pickerington Superintendent Rob Walker has reshuffled a number of administrative positions throughout the district in an effort to fill vacancies and create leadership balance at a number of school buildings.
Although a total of 12 people have taken on new roles for the 2013-14 school year, only the district director of research, accountability and assessment is a new position.
Walker has tapped current Pickerington High School Central Principal Zack Howard to serve as the district's director of research, accountability and assessment, but Howard won't fully transition to the new job until the second semester.
During the first semester, Howard will remain Central's principal, and he'll assist Lead Assistant Principal Stacy Tennenbaum, as she prepares to take over as the school's principal at the start of the second semester.
"We're going to take the first semester to align the positions and the movements, and given Zack and Stacy both time to get used to their new jobs," Walker said.
As director of research, accountability and assessment, Howard will work out of the district office.
Among his primary duties will be developing processes to evaluate teacher and building principal performances, which are new requirements brought on by the Common Core.
"We look at this as a great opportunity for our district to grow," Walker said.
"Zack will be working with teachers and principals to use software programs to make the whole evaluation process more manageable."
Walker said Howard also would provide services to the district's human resources department, which assists in filling positions throughout the district, conducts orientations for new employees and assists staff with license requirements and maintenance of individual professional development plans.
"We only have three full-time people in our human resources department," Walker said. "I would like some help for ( Human Resources Director) Debra Sawyer in that department."
As for other administrative realignments, former Special Education Director Bob Blackburn has been promoted to assistant superintendent.
He replaces former assistant superintendent Jim Sotlar, who left the district last year to become superintendent of the Canal Winchester Local School District.
Blackburn will oversee Kristina Hulse and Jennifer McComas, who serve as special education supervisors for the district, as well as special education coordinator Brittany Turnbull.
At the building level, former Harmon Middle School Assistant Principal Nikki Arnold replaces Kelly Holbrook as principal at Sycamore Creek Elementary School.
Holbrook resigned to become an assistant superintendent in the Heath Local School District.
Andrea Baldwin, a former instructional coach at Sycamore Creek, now is assistant principal at the school.
At Violet Elementary School, Rebecca Hornberger has been promoted to principal after teaching fifth grade at Diley Middle School last year.
She replaces former Violet Principal Mark Jones, who took a position with the Ohio Association of Elementary Administrators.
Former Pickerington High School North Assistant Principal Jared Moore has become assistant principal at Harmon, following Arnold's move to Sycamore Creek.
"That gives (Harmon Principal) Lea Ann Yoakum a male figure in her office," Walker said.
"We try to balance this as much as possible at each school."
Walker also selected Craig Duplain, who was a Spanish teacher in the Worthington School District, as assistant principal at Ridgeview Junior High School.
He replaces former Ridgeview Assistant Principal Milton Folson, who resigned this summer to become a principal in the Northeastern Local School District.
Additionally, Walker tapped Roshawn Parker to fill the assistant principal vacancy created at North by Moore's move to Harmon.
"Roshawn taught language arts at Whitehall," Walker said.
"He is an African-American male, and that obviously helps us with male balance and diversity at North."