Shelby County School Board: Wright Elementary looking for another principal

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Presentation will compare spring MAP scores to previous years

By Todd Martin

District officials and the Wright Elementary Site-Based Decision-Making Council are going to have to scramble to fill the principal’s position at Wright.

Bethany Groves, who had been an assistant principal in Jacksonville, Fla., was hired in early May, but on Sunday she alerted the district that she was resigning the position, which started on July 1, citing family concerns.

“Bethany Groves notified Superintendent James Neihof Sunday that she had decided to resign from her recently appointed position as principal at Wright Elementary,” SCPS Public Relations Coordinator Duanne Puckett said in a written statement.

Neihof will be in contact with the Wright’s SBDM members this week to begin the process of selecting a principal, and the group met in special called session late Tuesday afternoon.

"I assure you that I will make this a priority and that I will work with you to employ an excellent leader for your children,” he said in the statement to the group.

Groves replaced Lynn Gottbrath at Wright and was one of five new principals hired in a year that saw three principals retire and two others move on to other positions in different districts.

The district is planning to introduce the other four new principals at Thursday’s school board meeting, which will be at the district’s offices at 1155 Main Street in Shelbyville.

They are John Leeper at Collins High School, Rebecca Martin at East Middle, Kim Willhoite at Clear Creek Elementary and J.J. Black at Heritage Elementary.

Also to be introduced at the meeting is new Chief Information Officer Tommy Hurt, who was an assistant principal at Georgetown Middle School for 14 years, and with Shelby County Public Schools he will help develop, implement and maintain an education technology plan.


Test comparisons

The board will also hear a report comparing this year’s spring MAP test scores with previous spring scores.

The district released the 2012 spring MAP scores during June and, although there were some improvements, the results were not what administrators had hoped they would be.

The scores showed 25 percent of grade-school students were still below grade level in reading, leaving the district lagging behind it’s Big Goal of sending all elementary school students to middle school on grade level in reading by 2013.

However, the spring results did show that 41 percent of those below grade level are on track to reach grade level.

To continue to strive to reach that Big Goal, the district started summer school this week. The program is for all students below grade level in first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth grades.


Also at the meeting, the board will:

·       Consider approval of the revised the graduation requirements.

·       Consider approval of job descriptions.