In spite of some end-of-summer staffing changes at the administrative level in local schools, officials do not anticipate any disruption to students or families when school resumes Monday.
In May, Dr. Tracy Lampley, first-year principal at Harris Middle School, announced she had accepted a position as principal of Rock Creek Elementary in Estill Springs, part of the Franklin County school system.
James J. Sullivan, one of two assistant principals at HMS, was later named principal.
Robert Fraser, also an assistant principal at HMS, joined the staff of Cascade High and Middle Schools this summer, effectively swapping roles with Dr. LeEllen Carter, who will assist Sullivan at Harris this fall. Priscilla Van Tries was hired in the second AP position at HMS.
After Sharon Edwards' resignation last week, Tim Harwell was named principal at Cascade High School Thursday morning, leaving open the head position at Thomas Magnet School.
Mindi DeWitt, TMS assistant principal, will serve as acting administrator until a replacement for Harwell is named. "We will conduct interviews at the end of the posting requirement and hope to have a new principal in place as soon as possible," said Cheryl Harris, assistant superintendent.
The August opening of schools has been in the planning stages for many weeks, and should not be impacted by staff movement.
Dr. Ray Butrum, superintendent, spoke with the staff at TMS Thursday morning and "reassured them that Thomas Magnet is the focus of our attention and finding the right person to lead such a unique school is our priority," according to Harris.
"We anticipate tremendous interest in the position and will certainly be looking for a leader with a vision for the school."
Formed in 2009, TMS has implemented proven research-based education methods such as the Renzulli School-wide Enrichment Model and Paideia.
The Renzulli Model allows students to explore their interests and deepen their knowledge of required state standards, while the Paideia Method promotes higher-order thinking skills and teaches students how to verbally and respectfully communicate their ideas and knowledge.
The school also offers a variety of extracurricular clubs and activities. The foundation is in place for a Chinese language and culture class for this school year, which will be a part of the related arts rotation.
"We expect a smooth transition and will make available all resources to ensure such," said Harris.
The school year begins Monday, Aug. 6 with an abbreviated day.