Kannapolis City Schools shuffles administrators

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kannapolis City Schools is shuffling its leadership team around to fill holes and grow leaders during the upcoming school year.
Forest Park Elementary School principal Dr. Melia Neale took a position with the Lincoln County School System, setting off a chain reaction of leadership movement across Kannapolis’ schools.
Current Jackson Park principal, Nick Carlascio, will take Neale’s position at Forest Park, and Erin Anderson will take over at Forest Park. Anderson is currently principal at Fred L. Wilson, and the school’s curriculum coordinator, Mandi Campbell, will replace her.
In addition, A.L. Brown assistant principal Greg Joyner is transferring to the curriculum coordinator position at Forest Park. He will replace Gwen Love, who is transferring to the assistant principal position at Kannapolis Middle School, and Art Christian, current Kannapolis Middle assistant principal, will become assistant principal at A.L. Brown.
Curriculum coordinators are essentially the Kannapolis City equivalent to assistant principals other districts’ elementary schools.
“Several of our leaders are finishing a doctoral program in educational leadership,” Superintendent Dr. Pam Cain said in a press release. “With these moves, several of them now have the opportunity to move up and grow as leaders.”
“Basically, we’re trying to grow leaders in the system,” said Ellen Boyd, the district’s director of community relations. “Dr. Cain felt those folks would be suited for those places.”
Boyd added that the shuffle allows the assistant principals and curriculum coordinators to do something different and to build their resumes.
Carlascio, who has principal of Jackson Park since 2012, will start at Forest Park Elementary on July 14.
He said he’s “up for a challenge,” and is excited to lead the district’s largest elementary school.
“My number one priority is to get to know the staff and students,” Carlascio said.
“This can’t be a top down position,” he said, adding that building relationships is vital to creating a shared vision. “That’s got to come from within the building.”
Carlascio previously served as an assistant principal in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System and an interim principal at Whitewater Academy.
Anderson will move to Jackson Park to replace Carlascio.
Carlascio said he believes there will be a “pretty smooth transition.”
“Erin will have a great support system here,” he said, adding that there will be a “constant line of communication” for her.
Anderson has been at Fred L. Wilson since 1999, is part of Wingate University’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership and has been accepted into the North Carolina Principal Fellow’s program.
“I’m excited and ready for something new,” Anderson, adding that Jackson Park is well established and has a great staff.
Campbell will replace Anderson when she is promoted from curriculum coordinator to principal at Fred L. Wilson.
The transition is “bittersweet,” Campbell said. “Ms. Anderson and I worked very well together.”
Anderson said Campbell is “perfect” for the job.
“She’s going to be fantastic. The parents already love her,” Anderson added.
Campbell has worked for Kannapolis City Schools since 2010, when she was a curriculum coordinator for the McKnight Head Start Center. She came to Fred L. Wilson as a curriculum coordinator in 2012, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership from Wingate University.
Campbell said the position is “a great opportunity.”
She plans to continue to develop relationships with the staff, students and parents.
“I love to work with families,” she said.
Joyner is transferring from A.L. Brown’s assistant principal position to Forest Park’s curriculum coordinator. Before taking the assistant principal position at A.L. Brown, he was an elementary teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. He is pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership from Wingate University.
Love will transfer from Forest Park to Kannapolis Middle. She has been a curriculum coordinator at Forest Park since 2006. Before that, she worked for the Cabarrus County School System as an assistant principal and teacher.
Christian is transferring from Kannapolis Middle School to A.L. Brown High School as an assistant principal. He began with Kannapolis City Schools in 2012, and has administrative experience at the elementary, middle school and high school level.
The Kannapolis City Schools Board of Education has yet to fill the vacancy left by Kevin Garay at A.L. Brown High School. Garay resigned as principal to take a position as principal with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. Jessica Grant, the school’s student services director, is serving as interim principal.
The district must also find a curriculum coordinator to replace Campbell when she moves into her new position at Fred L. Wilson.