School Board approves promotions

Published 10:21 pm Friday, May 10, 2013

With a large number of staff retiring from the district in June, the Suffolk School Board has appointed several new administrators.

King’s Fork High School principal Suzanne Rice will become the new director of human resources, replacing Leigh Bennett, who is retiring, according to district spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw.

Rice, an educator for 29 years, has been principal at King’s Fork since 2008, and previously served a decade as principal at Oakland Elementary School.

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She taught in Accomack County for three years before joining Suffolk Public Schools as a teacher for 10 years and an assistant principal for one year.  Rice earned her bachelor’s degree from Radford University, her master’s from Old Dominion University and her doctorate from the University of Virginia.

Rice’s move leaves the system searching for two high school principals after Lakeland High School’s Thomas Whitley announced last month he will be the new principal at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake.

Carolyn Taylor has been named coordinator of compensatory programs, replacing Bettie Swain, who is retiring.

During her 36 years as an educator, Taylor was most recently elementary executive director and director of special projects at Norfolk Public Schools, served as a principal in Arizona, and as an assistant superintendent at Newport News Public Schools.

She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Portland, a master’s from Lewis and Clark College and her doctorate is from Arizona State University.

In addition, four core subject supervisors will begin July 1 as part of the superintendent’s strategic staffing plan:

  • Supervisor of Math Instruction Ashley Alston, currently a lead high school teacher, has been with Suffolk Public Schools since 2004 and previously taught at King’s Fork Middle School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University.
  • Supervisor of History/Social Studies Instruction Katrina Cary, currently a lead middle school teacher, has been with the district since 2002 as a teacher and academic coach. She also taught for five years in Franklin and Newport News, and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech.
  • Supervisor of English Instruction Kimberly McGrath is currently assistant principal at Creekside Elementary School and has been with Suffolk Public Schools since 2002. She has also been a lead elementary school teacher and an elementary classroom teacher in Suffolk, and taught for six years at Norfolk Public Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree from State University of New York and her master’s from University of Virginia.
  • Supervisor of Science Instruction Catherine Walsh, currently teaching at Lakeland High School, has been with Suffolk Public Schools since 2007 and previously taught in Newport News Public Schools and in Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University, her master’s from Old Dominion University and her doctorate from George Washington University.

The new administrators and supervisors begin July 1 for the 2013-2014 school year. Thursday’s School Board meeting, where the appointments were approved, heard that more than 50 are retiring from Suffolk Public Schools.