Kannapolis Schools hire new Woodrow Wilson principal
KANNAPOLIS —The next principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School says he wants to be a hands-on leader when he starts his new job.
Erik Johnson has been the curriculum coordinator at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School since October 2012. Prior to that, he was a teacher at Kannapolis Intermediate School for about six years.
Johnson was hired by the Kannapolis City Board of Education, and he will begin his new position on July 1.
He is replacing David Fleischmann, who has been principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary since 2006 and is retiring at the end of the school year.
“I’m extremely honored. knowing the amazing leadership that Woodrow Wilson has had in the past with people like David Fleischmann, our current principal,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it’s set in yet. Right now, I have a lot of ideas floating and spinning around.”
He said the first thing he wants to focus on as principal is parental involvement.
Many parents of Woodrow Wilson students are already involved, he said. Johnson wants to encourage that even more by holding seminars to educate parents and getting them involved in after-school activities.
“We have kids for such a short period over a 24-hour window,” Johnson said. “You really have five and a half or six hours of instructional time. If parents are able to extend that when the kids get home, that’s really only going to maximize the students’ education.”
He said he wants to keep himself involved, too, and make sure he understands what the teachers are doing in the classroom and what their needs are.
Johnson began his teaching career in 2003. A school system press release says he has a strong background in curriculum, instruction, analyzing student test results, technology, parent communication and strategic planning.
Johnson is pursuing his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Wingate University, and he holds a master’s degree from National Louis University in Milwaukee, Wis. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ripon College in Wisconsin.
Alhough Fleischmann is retiring as principal after 34 years in education, he said he’ll likely continue to work part-time.
“Erik is wonderful for Woodrow Wilson,” Fleischmann said. “He brings new energy and new ideas. ... He knows were we’ve been, and he has a good plan to take us where we need to go in the future.”
In the press release, Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain said Johnson is highly regarded in the district and called him the “ideal person” to lead the school.
“Erik Johnson has done an exceptional job during his time at Woodrow Wilson, and he has earned the respect of everyone on that staff,” Cain said. “I am delighted that he will be moving into his new leadership role, and I know he will do an excellent job.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.