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Last updated: Tue. Jul. 29, 2014 - 07:22 am EDT

FWCS announces new Northrop principal

He was one of three administrative hires approved Monday.

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The Fort Wayne Community Schools board of trustees approved the hiring of a new principal for Northrop High School and two other new administrators during its meeting Monday night at the Grile Administrative Center.

Kevin Simmons, who has 25 years of experience as an educator, will lead Northrop High School beginning this fall. He succeeds Barb Ahlersmeyer, who retired.

Simmons began teaching as a physical education instructor in Monticello, Ga., an FWCS news release said. He moved to Michigan in 1993, where he worked as athletic director in Covert, and then as an assistant middle school principal and principal in Grand Rapids.

He then worked 2003-11 as an administrator in Benton Harbor, Mich., before taking a job as a high school principal in Baltimore.

The other administrators hired were:

* Michael Sullivan, who started work at FWCS a year ago as middle school area director, was named secondary curriculum director, the news release said. His new job involves helping the district's middle and high schools implement the new Indiana College and Career Ready Standards. Before joining FWCS, Sullivan worked in Indianapolis for 15 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.

* Tracy Williams will become the new chief academic officer, filling a job that has been vacant for more than a year, the news release said. Williams has more than 20 years of experience as an educator, beginning as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Cleveland area. She most recently served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Benton Harbor, Mich.

In other business, the board:

* Approved hiring project architects or engineers for future construction projects at Haley and Weisser Park elementary schools and Jefferson Middle School. The work is part of FWCS' Basic Renewal/Restoration and Safety Construction Project, which includes 36 schools.

Work on Haley, Jefferson and Weisser Park is scheduled to start in summer 2015 and to be completed by August 2016. Based on information on the FWCS website, the work at each school will include demolishing and replacing existing mechanical and electrical systems, adding air conditioning, and installing new water systems, fire alarms, and lighting. Existing floors, ceilings, cabinets and wood doors will be replaced, and walls will be repainted. Exterior windows will be replaced and the exterior masonry will be cleaned and tuckpointed.

* Approved adding Title I pre-kindergarten programs this school year at Lindley and Washington elementary schools. The two schools are the FWCS Title I schools with the greatest need for pre-K that also have the space to accommodate it, board members learned.

Title I is a federal program that provides money to help schools provide a quality education to children from needy families and to help the children reach state proficiency standards.

Priority for enrollment in the Lindley and Washington programs will be given to students whose families live in those schools' attendance areas, Superintendent Wendy Robinson told the board.

FWCS currently has 15 pre-K programs serving slightly fewer than 500 students. All of those programs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Adding the Lindley and Washington pre-K programs will allow FWCS to serve nearly 50 additional children.

* Approved contracts worth a combined total of $409,947.50 for bottled water and juice for school cafeterias.

* Approved applying for and receiving $615,660 as an advancement from the School Technology Advancement Account to replace or expand technology equipment at FWCS schools.

* Approved receiving $282,277 in grants and donations from various businesses, school groups and donors.

kkilbane@news-sentinel.com


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