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Three new principals hired for Rowan-Salisbury schools

New principals

Tonya German

Tonya German

YaKisha Clemons

YaKisha Clemons

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education hired three new principals at its business meeting Tuesday night.

Beginning July 1, Tonya Brinegar German will become principal of Corriher Lipe Middle School, Karen Anderson will take the top position at Hurley Elementary and YaKisha Clemons will take over Koontz Elementary.

German is currently an assistant principal at Knox Middle School and has bachelor’s degrees in biology and secondary education from Appalachian State University, a Master of Education degree in secondary science curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an administrative add-on licensure from Appalachian. She’s also National Board certified.

Prior to her position at Knox, she was an administrative intern at Koontz, a science specialist at Horizon’s Unlimited and a science teacher at East and South Rowan high schools. She’s also been employed by Cabarrus County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school districts.

German was selected from a field of 32 applicants and is a member of the school system’s Grow Your Own Leaders cohort.

Anderson has been an assistant principal at Woodleaf Elementary School since February. She was a curriculum facilitator at Sumner Elementary School in Greensboro before she came to the Rowan-Salisbury School System, and was a principal intern in High Point before that. She also taught at two elementary schools in Greensboro.

Anderson has her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She received her principal licensure from Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy.

Selected from a group of 22 applicants, Anderson is also a member of the district’s Grow Your Own Leaders cohort.

Anderson will replace Kim Walton as principal of Hurley Elementary School. Walton is transferring into an assistant principal role within the school system.

Clemons comes to the Rowan-Salisbury School System from Catawba County Schools, where she’s been employed since 2003. She taught middle school band for five years, was a principal fellow intern for one year and an assistant principal for four years. Prior to her time in Catawba County, she was a music teacher with Beaufort County Schools.

Clemons replaces Dr. Mary Hemphill, who abruptly resigned in mid-April. Clemons was selected from a pool of 20 candidates.

Each of these new principal’s salaries will be based on their years of experience, state-allotted amount for teachers in their school building and a local supplement. The local supplement is $5,000 for elementary principals and $7,000 for high school principals.

The county’s proposed budget includes an $800,000 increase in operating funds, which would be used for salaries, contracts and supplies. It also calls for a little more than $500,000 from an anticipated increase in sales tax.

The public hearing for the county’s budget is June 1, and the county is expected to take action at that meeting or the following meeting.

The General Assembly is working on the state’s budget right now as well. The House’s proposed budget includes a 2 percent to 6 percent pay increase for teachers, which would require the school system to use local money to cover roughly $88,000 in required health insurance and retirement expenses.

Board members asked Chief Financial Officer Tara Trexler to come up with several scenarios of how the remaining new funds could be used to increase district employees’ salaries.

In other news, the Board of Education:

  • Reappointed Dr. Dari Caldwell to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s board of trustees for another four year term.
  • Unanimously approved a motion to waive the policy that required bus drivers to drive 30 days before reimbursing them for their CDL license for those that are currently staff members. New employees coming from outside the system will still adhere to the 30-day wait period.
  • Decided to spend a year planning and preparing for the implementation of a bilingual immersion program called VIF Splash that would be implemented at North Rowan Elementary School.
  • Decided to call a meeting in late June to look at new board attorney.

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