Several principal slots being vacated

PARKERSBURG – The normal ebb and flow of employment postings within the Wood County School System is seeing an unusual number of vacancies for elementary school principals.

Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of Wood County Schools, said as many as four elementary principal positions could be open by the end of the school term.

“There is going to be turnover in the principal ranks this year,” she said.

Mike Fling, principal at Neale Elementary, is on next week’s board of education agenda to be approved as assistant superintendent of school services, replacing Woodward, who is retiring in June after 40 years of service in the system.

Mary Thomas, principal of Lubeck Elementary, also is retiring.

Christie Willis, principal at Jefferson Elementary Center, is transferring to the central office to become assistant director of federal programs.

Karen Brunicardi, the director of elementary schools, is retiring at the end of the school year after 37 years of service.

“Past practice has been an elementary principal moves up and is selected to the director of elementary schools,” Woodward said. “There is a possibility there could be another (vacancy).”

Additional openings may occur. Woodward said there’s rumblings of more last-minute retirement notices. Michelle Jeffers, principal at Franklin Elementary Center, retired mid-year and was replaced by Missy Powers, who had been the assistant. Powers’ former position has not been filled.

The positions have not been posted. Officials are waiting until after Tuesday and will then post the principal vacancies all at one time.

The school system has 19 elementary schools. Woodward said the vacancies are at three major elementary schools in the county.

This will be a major realignment, Woodward said, if any current principal or assistant principal of an elementary or secondary school applies for one of the known vacant positions.

It would open the assignment for posting, she said.

Woodward said the overall impact on current positions is greater than the past two years but not to the level of impact in 2010 when 10 central office officials retired.