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Five principals to say goodbyes to RSS

By Rebecca Rider
rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Five Rowan County principals have announced their departure from Rowan-Salisbury schools.

RSS spokeswoman Rita Foil said two central office administrators will also be leaving by the end of the school year.

Three of the five principals leaving found jobs elsewhere or are moving to be closer to family.

After two years at Koontz Elementary, Yakisha Clemmons is leaving. Clemmons became principal at Koontz on June 18, 2015. Foil said Koontz’s co-principal, Lori Marrero, will remain at the school. Clemmons’ last day is June 30.

Julia Erdie, principal of East Rowan High School, also will leave effective June 30.

Michael Waiksnis of Knox Middle School accepted a job as director of secondary education with the Fort Mill, S.C., school district. His last day will be June 30. Waiksnis began working at Knox on June 30, 2014.

“This is the time of year if there are any turnover or changes, this is when it happens,” Foil said.

Rick Vanhoy, principal at Erwin Middle School, and Rebecca Kepley-Lee, principal of Cleveland Elementary, announced their retirement Tuesday. Both will retire effective July 1.

Vanhoy joined Rowan-Salisbury Schools in January 1981. He became Erwin’s principal in July 2013. Kelpey-Lee began her RSS career in August 1986 and became principal of Cleveland Elementary in July 2004.

Students, teachers and parents at each school will be consulted about the qualities they’d like to see in the next principal. According to a letter to parents, the district hopes to have a candidate ready for the Board of Education’s approval by May 22 for East Rowan High School and Knox Middle School and by June 5 for Erwin Middle School.

Officials have not yet decided if the district will hire another co-principal to replace Clemmons. Foil said a tentative approval date for Cleveland Elementary candidates has not yet been set.

Additionally, Robin Leslie, the district’s chief financial officer, will leave her job effective May 31. Leslie was hired in February 2016.

Libby Post, district director of school nutrition for 15 years, will retire effective July 1. Post began working with RSS in July 2002.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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