Putnam fills school posts in time for start of school

WINFIELD — The Putnam County Board of Education voted Wednesday to appoint the new assistant principal of Mountain View Elementary School — the last administrative position the district needed filled before students return Aug. 18.

Ten principals and assistant principals will be new to their positions in the upcoming school year. Some, like Elizabeth Willis — the new Mountain View assistant principal, who is transferring from a fourth-grade teaching position at Scott Teays Elementary School — are entering administrator roles for the first time, but most are switching from principal and assistant principal roles at one school to another.

Buffalo High, Hurricane Middle and Poca Middle schools each have a new principal and assistant principal. Conner Street Elementary School got a new principal and Hurricane High, Winfield Middle and Mountain View Elementary schools each got new assistant principals.

At Wednesday’s special meeting, which was called to get in last-minute hires before the school year began, Superintendent Chuck Hatfield said retirements contributed to the unusually large number of new administrators.

Among the retirees was former Buffalo High Principal Richard Grim, who Hatfield said spent almost 40 years with the school district. In an example of the “domino effect” the retirement had, board members transferred Buffalo High assistant principal and athletics director Tawny Stilianoudakis into his position and then had to fill her spot.

Another principal, Doug Cross, of Hurricane Middle School, was transferred to a new director of secondary education position in the school district’s central office that was created when the central office’s high school director retired and the board decided to merge that position with the vacant middle school director role.

Penny Fisher, assistant superintendent for personnel, said earlier this month the district still needed to fill about two full-time teacher positions.

A few positions remain open, and Hatfield said that if the hires aren’t made in the first month of school, the board will likely opt to appoint long-term substitutes rather than disrupt students by placing a full-time teacher in a classroom too late into the semester.

“We don’t want to break that continuity and it’s not fair to kids,” he said.

The school district also launched new social media profiles Tuesday, said new Communications and Events Coordinator Rudi Raynes. Find the district on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PutnamCountySchoolsWV or on Twitter @PutnamWVSchools.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

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