DPS makes several key personnel changes
Jerome Leathers, principal of Jordan High School, will become the new principal of the Southern School of Energy and Sustainability.
Leathers will report to Southern on Aug. 6.
The school board approved the move Tuesday, along with several other key personnel changes, during a special meeting, most of which was held in closed-session to consider protected student information and to discuss personnel issues.
Leathers, who was hired to lead Jordan in August 2011, replaces Ken Barnes at Southern. Barnes will become executive director of maintenance services for the school district.
The leadership change at Southern comes as the school consolidates the Southern School of Engineering into the Southern School of Energy and Sustainability.
Meanwhile, veteran educator David ‘Dave” Malechek will serve as interim principal of Jordan for the 2014-15 school year
Malechek served as the interim principal of the school in 2011, prior to Leather’s arrival.
The interim assignment at Jordan followed Malechek’s retirement from Matthews High School in Virginia.
He was an assistant principal at Northern High School from 1993-98 and served as an assistant principal at Green Hope and Leesville Road high schools in Wake County.
Kestrel Heights charter school only to resign the post two weeks later.
School officials said at the time that Malechek decided he did not want to lead a school that was going through such a major transition.
Malechek earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Duke University, a master’s in teaching from UNC-Chapel Hill and his principal certification from N.C. Central University.
In 2011, Leather’s move to Jordan was hailed as sort of a homecoming. He served 12 years as a math teacher there before moving into school administration.
And before moving to Jordan, Leathers worked as an assistant principal at Hillside High School and served administrative internships at Hillside and Riverside High School.
During his teaching tenure at Jordan, Leathers was named the school's 2006 Teacher of the Year.
He earned both his bachelor's degree in business administration and his master's degree in school administration from N.C. Central University.
Also on Tuesday, the board promoted Karen Kellett to principal at Mangum Elementary School.
Kellett, a veteran educator with more than 25 years of experience, was the school’s assistant principal. She begins work in her new post on Aug. 1.
“The board feels very positive about these changes,” said school board Chairwoman Heidi Carter. “The board thinks these are positive changes for the district.”
The principal moves announced Tuesday were accompanied by several key administrative changes in what amounts to a restructuring of the district’s top posts by new Superintendent Bert L’Homme.
The administrative changes are as follows:
-- Julie Spencer was named assistant superintendent for research and accountability following the resignation of Terri Mozingo, who is leaving to join the Alexandria, Virginia, city school district. Spencer most recently served as the area superintendent for middle schools. She began her career with Orange County schools but has been with DPS since 2000, when she joined the staff of Carrington Middle School as assistant principal.
-- Jacqueline Boyd Ellis will join DPS as an area superintendent. She previously served as assistant superintendent of human resources with DPS before joining the Wake County school system as an area superintendent. Ellis was a principal in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools where she was named Principal of the Year. She has more than 20 years of experience as an educator and administrator.
-- Alisa McLean also was named an area superintendent. She joins DPS from the state Department of Public Instruction where she serves as a school transformation coach assigned to Durham Public Schools. McLean has held leadership positions with Alamance Burlington School System, UNC Chapel Hill, Person County Schools and Orange County Schools, where she was Principal of the Year.