As school attendance figures settle for the first semester, and early state data is available to the school districts is in review, Bedford County Schools announced a reassignment and transfer among personnel Monday.
Effective immediately, Dulcie Davis will become principal of Eakin Elementary and Mindi DeWitt will take her place as principal at Thomas Magnet School. Dr. Julie Bennett, who had been principal at Eakin, has been reassigned to work with Harris Middle School and Eakin, Southside, East Side and Learning Way elementary schools.
"Bedford County Schools ... are pro-actively addressing the needs identified by the most recent data released by the state," read a press release issued by the district Monday afternoon.
An overview of data from the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) is historically released to schools on an embargoed basis, giving the schools an opportunity to review and be sure all test-takers are appropriately identified before the information is released to the public in November.
Bedford County was one of over 50 school districts identified as 'needs improvement due to subgroup,' in the new measurement system of Tennessee's First to the Top mandates.
"Superintendent, Dr. Ray Butrum and his instructional staff have been working on the strategic plan for the system and feel this reassignment of duties will benefit Bedford County Schools in its effort to attain the gap closures for subgroups, as required by the state," said Cheryl Harris, assistant superintendent, in the release."
"Dr. Bennett has a strong history of data analysis and will be able to assist the entire system as it focuses on the gap closure of our identified subgroup of need.
"Because a majority of our minority subgroup populations are located in our elementary and middle schools within the city limits, Dr. Bennett will work closely with those schools to utilize the data we have from our state mandated tests, as well as our local benchmarks, formative assessments and specific school needs," said Harris.
Davis served as assistant principal at Eakin Elementary during the prior school year. "We feel her leadership and relationships to the stakeholders of Eakin are essential to the forward progress of the school," Harris said.
Similarly, DeWitt has served as assistant principal at TMS for the past 16 months. "She has demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the magnet school program and will continue to focus on the vision of the school," Harris said.
TMS was recently named as one of 40 Tennessee Reward Schools, which achieved recognition in both the growth and achievement categories. "Mrs. DeWitt played a vital role in the school's success and with support from the district level, Thomas Magnet will continue to thrive under her leadership."
According to Harris, an assistant principal will not be utilized at the magnet school for the remainder of the school year.
The current changes mark the tenth shift among upper administration since the end of the prior school year.
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 is assisting Sullivan at Harris. Priscilla Van Tries was hired in the second AP position at HMS.
After Sharon Edwards' resignation, Tim Harwell was named principal at Cascade High School, leaving open the head position at TMS, which was filled by Davis. Patsey Thomas assumed Davis' former role as assistant principal at Eakin.