DATE: July 5, 2018
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Albemarle County Public Schools Completes Appointments of 14 Assistant Principals as 2018-19 School Year Begins
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Led by an educational technology expert with 24 years of experience in the integration of instructional technology resources with classroom instruction, Albemarle County Public Schools today named seven new assistant principals for six elementary and high schools in the school division. Five other assistant principals are taking on new leadership roles, and two such appointments previously were announced. In all, 14 associate or assistant principals have assumed new roles for the 2018-19 school year.
Becky Fisher, who joined Albemarle County Public Schools in 1988 as a math teacher during Murray High School’s inaugural year, is the new assistant principal at Henley Middle School. Following six years as a classroom teacher, Fisher became an instructional technology specialist, supporting all of the division’s elementary schools in 1994. She later became the manager of instructional technology and, most recently, was the Director of End User Experience for all schools in the division. In 2014, as the Director of Educational Technology, Fisher received the Impact Award from the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development for her leadership in best practices for educational technology and professional development for educators.
New to the school division are two assistant principals for Albemarle High School, Jason Lee and Betty-Jo Wynham.
Lee is an assistant principal at Ivy Creek, which is part of the Piedmont Regional Education Program, serving the social, emotional and academic needs of special education students from several regional school divisions. Prior to joining Ivy Creek last year, Lee was an assistant principal at Fluvanna High School for six years. He began his teaching career in 2001 with Amelia County Schools.
Wynham has been an assistant principal for Eastern View High School in Culpeper County since 2014. Previously, she taught special education students for seven years in Madison and Culpeper counties.
Seven current administrators assumed new responsibilities on July 1.
As previously announced, Brandi Robertson, who served as Sutherland Middle School’s interim principal this past year, is returning to her previous role as an assistant principal at the elementary school level. She has joined Brownsville Elementary School. Also, Art Stow, who previously was the principal of Red Hill Elementary School, has moved to Sutherland as its new associate principal.
Five assistant principals have moved to new schools.
Ashby Johnson, who has been an assistant principal for Monticello High School since 2015 and was at Henley Middle School for the two years prior, is returning to Jack Jouett Middle School as its assistant principal. Johnson was an intervention teacher at Jouett and coordinated the school’s internationally renowned AVID program, a college readiness program for students who most often would be the first in their family to attend higher education. Johnson joined the division in 2001 as an instructional assistant at Greer and taught for four years at Sutherland.
Johnson succeeds Will Schaffer, who is one of two new assistant principals at Western Albemarle High School. Schaffer was Jouett’s assistant principal for three years. A Marine Corps veteran, Schaffer later taught for seven years in Charlottesville City Schools as both a social studies and AVID teacher.
Also, Melissa Hankins, an assistant principal at Albemarle High School since 2013, has moved to Monticello. Hankins joined the school division in 1995 as a history teacher at Albemarle and later chaired the department. She was an Annenberg Fellow, served with the University of Virginia’s Multicultural Institute for Teachers, and has been a member of the division’s Equity and Diversity/Character Counts Committee.
Two elementary school assistant principals have new roles.
Wendy Eckerle, with nearly 20 years of experience in the school division, is now the assistant principal at Greer Elementary School. Eckerle is a former Elementary School Teacher of the Year with particular expertise in literacy and student enrichment programs. She also holds National Board Certification and is a Golden Apple recipient. Previously, Eckerle served as an assistant principal at Brownsville and more recently at Baker-Butler, for the past five years.
Jennifer Underwood is Woodbrook’s new assistant principal. She previously had the same role at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School. Underwood is returning to the school she served as a first- and second-grade teacher from 2006 to 2008. She also taught at Hollymead and Yancey elementary schools and was an instructional coach in the division’s highly-acclaimed coaching program. In the latter position, she worked with elementary school teachers from Agnor-Hurt, Baker-Butler, and Stone-Robinson to further develop their instructional strategies and practices in the classroom.
Four administrative interns, Laura Morris, Christine Peterson, Teresa Tyler, and Leslie Wills-Taylor, all were appointed to new assistant principal posts.
Morris, who was an administrative intern for the past two years at Cale Elementary School, has joined Hollymead Elementary School as its assistant principal. Morris began her career in the school division as a Spanish teacher at Albemarle High School and taught at three elementary schools, Hollymead, Red Hill, and Scottsville. She received a Golden Apple Award in 2003.
The new assistant principal for Baker-Butler is Christine Peterson, who served as an administrative intern this past year at Greer. Peterson was recruited to teach in Albemarle County by John Baker in 2000. She served as a special education and classroom teacher at both Woodbrook and Baker-Butler, where she won the Golden Apple in 2007. She served as a literacy coach and an instructional coach in several elementary schools.
Tyler, one of two new assistant principals at Western Albemarle High School, had served as Henley Middle School’s administrative intern since 2016. She started with the school division as an English teacher in 1995, and in 2009, she became department chair. Among her responsibilities were the development of units for students new to the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program and teacher mentoring. She is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and a Golden Apple recipient. Prior to joining Albemarle County Public Schools, Tyler taught in Amherst and at two high schools in South Carolina.
Moving to Meriwether-Lewis, Wills-Taylor is the 2016 recipient of the National Teaching Tolerance Excellence Award. She was the school division’s nominee that same year for Virginia Teacher of the Year. Her career as an educator began as a classroom teacher at Cale, and she moved the next year to Woodbrook, where she also won a Golden Apple Award. She was an administrative intern this past year at Brownsville Elementary School.