ST. GEORGE — The Washington County School District Board of Education has announced several transfers and new appointments in administration to be implemented as early as April.
The shifts were prompted by board members, district Communication Director Steven Dunham said, noting that they are not due to low performance.
“We have a depth of talent,” he said. “We have really good leaders. I heard the board say (they’d) be good with any of them.”
The new appointments come at the onset of several retirements and are intended to stimulate growth and reenergize learning outcomes for both educators and students.
Transfers can be difficult for students and teachers, but with retirements and new schools being built, change is inevitable, Dunham said.
The school district intends for these administration changes to provide opportunities for assistant principals to work with other principals as an effort to diversify and strengthen leadership styles. According to the district, the transitions are a proactive approach to bringing about needed change and preventing stagnancy.
“Change is kind of hard, because it’s easy to feel like that’s home,” Dunham said, “but after more than eight or ten years, you’ve achieved about as much as you can in one place.”
Transfers and promotions in school systems are fairly common in the United States. According to the National Center for Education Studies, half of new principals leave their schools after three years, and nearly 1-in-5 leave annually.
Unlike teacher mobility, few studies have been facilitated to assess the impact principal turnover has on students.
“We have done this for some time in the elementary schools,” Dunham said. “This is new for the secondary schools. It has been a goal of the Board of Education to make this happen throughout the district.”
One of the more notable transitions is Warren Brooks, who has served 15 years as the principal of Snow Canyon High School and will be transferring to Dixie High School to serve as the new principal.
Brooks’ transition comes as Sharla Campbell retires. Campbell spent nearly 30 years at Dixie High, beginning as a part-time English teacher and then becoming assistant principal in 2004. She was promoted to principal in 2013.
In looking back at her tenure, Campbell said:
In 2011, our graduation rate was 75%, approximately the national average. We instituted several programs designed to help students succeed academically, and the graduation rate has increased steadily to a high of 96% in 2018.
Of the many shifts in administrative assignment throughout the district, Campbell said she’s sure these changes “will bring a new perspective to each school and also provide an opportunity for positive changes.”
Other shifts noted by the Washington County School District are as follows:
- Little Valley Elementary Principal Rob Stevenson is retiring.
- Dixie Middle School Principal Tim Lowe is retiring.
- Sunset Elementary Principal Anthony Horrocks will transfer to Coral Canyon Elementary as principal.
- Coral Canyon Elementary Principal Jennifer Eggleston will transfer to Panorama Elementary as principal.
- Pine View High Assistant Principal Randy Wyatt will transfer to Sunrise Ridge Intermediate as assistant principal.
- Enterprise Elementary Principal Luke Rowley will transfer to Desert Hills Middle as assistant principal.
- Desert Hills High Assistant Principal Eric Christensen will transfer to Dixie High as assistant principal.
- Panorama Elementary Principal Steve Gregoire will transfer to South Mesa Elementary as principal, scheduled to open this fall.
- Calvin Holt was promoted to Principal at Enterprise High School.
- Paul Orchard was promoted to principal of Little Valley Elementary.
- Julie Smith was promoted to principal of Sunset Elementary.
- Brett Gifford was promoted to assistant principal of Pine View High.
- Steve Showalter was promoted to assistant principal of Desert Hills High.
- Terri Howell was promoted to assistant principal and athletic director of Desert Hills High.
- Kim Monkres was promoted to principal of Snow Canyon High.
- Ron Sharp was promoted to principal of Desert Hills Middle.
- Kyle Campbell was promoted to assistant principal of Snow Canyon High.
- Paul Hurt was promoted to principal of Dixie Middle.
- Jason Brooks was promoted to principal of Enterprise Elementary.
Note: This story originally did not include the promotion at Enterprise High School and it has been added.
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