New principals named
Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The Suffolk School Board has appointed six new administrators, including new principals at Lakeland and King’s Fork high schools and at Booker T. Washington Elementary School.
At Lakeland, Douglas D. Wagoner will take over as principal from Thomas Whitley, who accepted a principal’s position at Chesapeake’s Western Branch High School.
Wagoner, an assistant principal at Lakeland for the past 10 years, said he learned of his new role while attending his mother’s 89th birthday party.
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“I got to share that news with her — it was an exciting time,” he said.
At King’s Fork, current Smithfield High School principal Stenette Byrd III will replace Suzanne Rice, who in turn is replacing Director of Human Resources Leigh Bennett, who is retiring from the head office position.
Byrd said he has “always been interested in serving the community” where he lives with his wife and their 5-year-old twins, who attend Northern Shores Elementary School.
After growing up in Hampton, he has lived in Suffolk for 13 years, he said.
“I have been looking for this opportunity,” he said “Everything seemed to align this year. (But) it’s very difficult for me to leave Isle of Wight County Schools.”
David C. Reitz, currently an assistant principal at Nansemond River High School, was named the new principal at Booker T. Washington Elementary School. He taught at Northern Shores Elementary School in 2011-2012 after serving the Virginia Beach and Portsmouth school districts.
Reitz has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburg, a master’s from Old Dominion University, and a doctorate from Virginia Tech.
The new principals at Lakeland and King’s Fork high schools will both lead institutions currently only provisionally accredited.
Wagoner, adding he has wanted to “take a greater leadership role” in the division for the past five years, said the school needs to build on the success of his predecessor in the role.
“He’s implemented a number of great programs we need to perfect to a much greater extent,” he said of Thomas Whitley.
“It’s going to take a team effort. It’s going to be about all the stakeholders working together toward that common goal and better delineating our mission and our vision together.”
Byrd said, “Part of my leadership style is to gather all of those leaders within the school. We will work together to resolve any issues we have.”
He said he wants to let people, including parents, know that his door at King’s Fork High School will be open to them. “I want to hear from everyone,” he said.
Byrd, who has also served as principal in three other Isle of Wight County public schools, began teaching at Hampton’s Jefferson Davis Middle School in 1997. He has a bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University, a master’s from Old Dominion University, and a doctorate from the College of William & Mary.
Wagoner, who lives in Gates County with his wife and teenage daughter, previously taught for nine years at the Center for Effective Learning in Virginia Beach.
Before entering public education, he worked in aquaculture for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
School Board members on Monday also made three appointments for division-wide instructional support supervisors: Julie G. Moyer, currently the elementary science lead teacher, will be the science specialist; Janet T. Phillips, a reading specialist at Creekside Elementary School, will be the English specialist; and Marquita S. Hockaday, currently a teacher at Windsor High School, will be the history/social sciences specialist.
They also appointed Diane S. Glover, currently the special education data specialist, as the supervisor of special education.
Meanwhile, superintendent Deran Whitney announced the following administrative transfers, also effective July 1:
- Temesha Dabney, current Booker T. Washington Elementary principal, has been named principal at Oakland Elementary School.
- Christopher Phillips, current Oakland Elementary principal, has been named principal at Southwestern Elementary School.
- Cheryl Riddick, current Southwestern Elementary principal, has been named assistant principal at Florence Bowser Elementary School and will coordinate the pre-K to grade 1 school with its paired school Driver Elementary School (grades 2-5). Frances Barnes, currently at Florence Bowser Elementary, is retiring.
- Gwendolyn Williams, currently at Northern Shores Elementary, will move to Booker T. Washington Elementary School.
- Steve Smith, currently at Booker T. Washington Elementary, will move to King’s Fork Middle School.
- Robert Brennan, currently at King’s Fork Middle School, will move to Creekside Elementary School, replacing Kimberly McGrath, who was named supervisor of English instruction K-12.
- Dale Kittle, currently at Lakeland High School, will move to Nansemond River High School, replacing David Reitz.
- Michael Blount, currently at King’s Fork High School, will move to Lakeland High School.