CHAMPAIGN - The Champaign schools principals' shake-up continued Monday when school board members named two new principals and Tuesday when three principals were transferred to new schools.
New hires included Pat Lewis, who will be principal of Kenwood School, replacing Les Huddle, who left the school in October 2002.
Also hired at a meeting Monday that lasted five hours was Joel Crames, a member of the Stratton School faculty who will be principal at a school not yet identified.
On Tuesday, the administration announced the reassignment of three veteran educators. They include Dr. Howard Principal Christie Brinkley, who will become new principal of Barkstall School; Sandy Powell, current principal at Barkstall who will move to the same job at Franklin Middle School; and South Side School Principal Barb Daly, who will become principal at Bottenfield School.
Lewis, a 31-year district employee, has been assistant principal at Jefferson Middle School since 1995. She served as interim principal of Stratton until Sandra Duckworth was hired for that job.
Crames, another candidate for the Kenwood job, was hired to fill an upcoming principal's vacancy. He's taught in the gifted and talented program at Stratton since 1998, and he was administrator of University High School for 14 years before that.
Also Monday, the school board accepted the resignations of Bottenfield Principal Ibis Nunez and of Franklin Middle School Principal Mel Crafter, who came to the district from Texas last year with the Culver team, clearing the way for the three-way principals' shuffle.
Powell, who came to Barkstall in 1998 when the school opened, was formerly an assistant principal in Danville schools.
Brinkley, who took the job as principal of Dr. Howard in 1996, was formerly a principal in the Carlinville school system.
Daly's been a teacher in Champaign schools since 1974. She became principal of South Side in 1996.
Lila Sullivan, current interim principal at Kenwood and former principal of Centennial High School, will be moving to district headquarters July 1, when Lewis takes over, to work in human relations writing grants.
Sullivan said she plans to retire at the end of the 2003-04 school year.
The board earlier accepted the resignation of Ron Jones, principal of Edison Middle School, who's leaving after two years there. That job and the South Side principal's job are still open.
The board also recently hired a new principal for Centennial High School, picking Judy Wiegand, who's been interim principal there since Sullivan left.
Board member Margie Skirvin said there's a lot of concern in the community about the changes in the schools.
The administration announced at the meeting Monday that Lewis and Crames would be hired, but the three-way switch was announced by fax Tuesday morning.
Culver, who was hired by the district last summer to make changes in the district that will improve student performance and to help the district comply with equity guidelines imposed by the federal government, often says transitions like those he plans to make will be bumpy, going through four phases - "forming, norming, storming and performing."
Right now, the district's in the "storming" phase, he has said.
You can reach Anne Cook at (217) 351-5217 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.