New principals hired at Early College, Enochville, Morgan
SALISBURY — Three more principals have been hired at Rowan County schools this week.
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education named the new principals at Rowan County Early College, Enochville Elementary School and Morgan Elementary School after a closed session at Monday’s meeting.
David Miller, of Salisbury, was chosen to take the place of retiring principal Cindy Misenheimer at the Rowan County Early College high school. Miller has worked in the Rowan-Salisbury School System since 1998, and he has spent the last year as principal of Southeast Middle School.
“I’m very excited about it,” he said. “I look forward to continuing some of the positive things they have going on there now.”
He said he wants to continue the focus on positive relationships — both between himself and the staff and between the community college and the early college. Academic growth starts with building relationships, he said, and that also includes the students.
“Not only are we working with students at the high school level, but we have the opportunity to work with the college to help these students get college credit as well,” Miller said. “I feel like it’s a good fit for me, and I really look forward to this opportunity.”
Even though he has only been there for one year, he said he will miss Southeast Middle, where he also worked on relationship-building to improve classroom instruction.
From 2007 to 2012, Miller held the position of principal at Rockwell Elementary School. Previously, he taught at China Grove Middle School and Charles C. Erwin Middle School.
Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Kelly Street, of China Grove, is an assistant principal at Enochville Elementary School. She has held that position since 2009, and she has worked in the Rowan-Salisbury School System for about 12 years.
“I am just overwhelmed with excitement for this new journey with an exceptional staff — a staff that’s supportive and hard-working and ready for all the educational challenges that we face,” Street said. “I couldn’t be in a better place and work with better people.”
She will replace Barry Haywood, the current principal at Enochville Elementary, who plans to retire at the end of the school year.
“It’s a very bittersweet transition, because he is a phenomenal leader, and this is an Enochville family for us,” Street said. “He has provided the resources, training and support for teachers to do an exceptional job in the classroom.”
Haywood said he and his wife, Marianne, are leaving the school system together after entering it together. She now works as a PEP grant project director.
“Enochville has always had a history of being a great school to be at, with a good school environment,” Haywood said. “We have always had a strong staff and a supportive community. The students here have always achieved and overachieved. That’s what I’m going to miss when I step away.”
This is Haywood’s 10th year as Enochville Elementary’s principal. Before that, he was the assistant principal — just like Street.
“Ms. Street will make a great principal,” Haywood said. “She knows the school, knows the community and will serve the school very well.”
From 2004 to 2009, Street was an assistant principal at China Grove Elementary School. Prior to that, she worked at China Grove Middle School, Corriher-Lipe Middle School and two other middle schools in Vernon, Conn., and Mount Pleasant.
Street graduated from Wingate University with a bachelor’s degree in middle grades reading, language arts and history. She earned a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Derek DiStefano, of Salisbury, will become the new principal of Morgan Elementary School. DiStefano has been the assistant principal of instruction at Cox Mill Elementary School in Concord since 2007.
Previously, he worked at two elementary schools in Charlotte as a teacher and then a math facilitator. He also taught at North Rowan Elementary School from 1997 to 2000.
DiStefano has lived in Rowan County for the past five years, and he said he is excited about becoming more actively involved in the community. His wife teaches and his daughter attends school in the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
“They say great things about the school system, and the more I hear about it, the more I just want to be a part of it,” DiStefano said. “I’m just looking to continue the tradition at Morgan of being community-based school and continue to work toward academic excellence.”
Susan Sigmon, who has been the principal at Morgan Elementary for 10 years, will retire at the end of this school year.
One of the school’s biggest successes in recent years, she said, has been its technology program. Parents worked together with the school and raised the money to equip its classrooms with interactive boards, laptops, iPads and iPods.
But Sigmon said what she’ll miss most about Morgan Elementary is the relationships with parents and staff.
“It’s just such an inviting school, where people put children first,” she said. “It’s been awesome working here. I couldn’t ask for a better place to start and retire.”
Sigmon said she’s sure the staff will give DiStefano a warm welcome.
DiStefano holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary instruction from the State University of New York at Oswego and a master’s degree in school administration from Gardner Webb University.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.