PARKERSBURG - Franklin Elementary Center this week welcomed Melissa Powers as its new principal.
Powers was approved Nov. 27 by the Wood County Board of Education and began as principal Monday. She replaces retiring principal Michelle Jeffers.
Powers has worked at Franklin for about four years now, with the last two-and-a-half years spent as the school's assistant principal of curriculum and instruction. Powers has been with Wood County Schools for about 10 years.
Photo by Michael Erb
Melissa Powers is the new principal at Franklin Elementary Center. She was hired Nov. 27 to replace retiring principal Michelle Jeffers, and began in the new position this week. Powers previously worked as the school’s assistant principal in charge of curriculum and instruction.
Powers said her familiarity with the school, its students and staff has made bringing her in as the new principal a more manageable situation.
"I feel the transition is going to be much easier because people know me," she said Tuesday. "It is going to help with our consistency."
Powers said she has three main goals as principal: To continue implementing collaborative teams and professional development for teachers; to improve the school's use of technology in the classroom and to boost learning; and to continue increasing parental involvement and outreach with the community.
Franklin has been on a state improvement plan since 2009 due to low test scores. Powers said that allowed the school to receive grant money for additional teacher training, which in turn has helped teachers to improve classroom instruction and student achievement.
"I can definitely see the improvement," she said, pointing to a significant growth in reading scores this past year. Powers said most schools take three to five years to see gains in test scores from improvement plans.
"I think this is the year we're going to see our successes in our test scores," she said.
Powers said the school also has seen a tremendous level of support from the community and dedication from its teachers. Both aspects have allowed everyone to focus on the needs of students and in helping them achieve.
The parents "are here to support their children. The teachers are being champions for our kids," Powers said. "They can see our vision for the future and they want to make it happen.
"I'm just one part of this," she said. "I wouldn't want to be a principal anywhere but here."