City educators get new roles

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2007

FRANKLIN—Students and parents will see some familiar faces in different places once the new school year begins.

Lisa Francis, reading teacher for the last 11 years, has been hired as an assistant principal at S.P. Morton Elementary. She began serving in the new position July 1. Starting out with sixth-grade classes, she eventually taught seventh-graders as well. With the exception of her first year spent at Hertford County Middle School in North Carolina, she has been teaching middle-schoolers in the city public school system during her entire career. She also coached the tennis team at Franklin High School for three years.

She will be working with Principal Don Spengeman and Assistant Principal J. Felton Edwards.

According to Superintendent Bill Pruett, the additional assistant position &uot;was not filled last year because of potential budget shortfalls.&uot;

Francis earned her undergraduate education degree from Chowan University and her master’s of education in administration and supervision from Cambridge University.

&uot;It’s a new beginning,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m working with summer school right now, getting my feet wet, and I love it.

&uot;I’m looking forward to it, but I’m going to miss my babies at J.P. King. I won’t be able to coach anymore and I told my girls (from the tennis team) that I’d come see them all the time.&uot;

Francis said the job will be challenging, as there is a lot to learn, but she hopes that she will still be in close contact with the kids in the classroom setting.

&uot;I hope to still assist in the classroom,&uot; she said. &uot;I hope the teachers will call on me to help.&uot;

Jo Anne Murray will relocate to the school board’s central office from her position at J.P. King Middle School as principal after five years.

She taught for nine years at Franklin High School in the English Department and then spent two years as assistant principal at the school before moving to the middle school.

Murray will take on the title of instructional resource teaching coordinator. She

will be working with principals and teachers to help implement a University of Virginia reading grant made possible through funding from Franklin Southampton Charities.

While the position is not new, it has been reworked.

According to school officials, the superintendent has worked to restructure existing staff to give the grant its best success based on UVA’s reading evaluation.

According to Pruett, it was more of a matter of putting talent where it was not only needed, but would fit best. He said that interviews to fill Murray’s old position have been conducted and he looks to fill that position by Aug. 1.

&uot;I am looking forward to it,&uot; said Murray. &uot;It will be a different challenge.

&uot;I’ll be working with principals and teachers in all three schools.&uot;

Murray earned her undergraduate degree in English from the College of William & Mary. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision.

Carol Claggett, formerly instructional technology resource teacher, will be the division’s reading lead teacher, a position that was also frozen last year.

While another lead teacher position deals primarily with math, Claggett will be working with teachers to assist in the implementation of the UVA reading grant, part of which is to have a lead teacher position in reading.

Claggett has been with the city school system for 10 years, and has been in the central office since 2005.

She has worked at Courtland and Hunterdale elementary schools and at Southampton Middle School. She also was in South Carolina for a few years.

Though there are some aspects of the former job she will miss, Claggett is looking forward to the new school year.

&uot;I’m going to miss what I’ve been doing with instructional technology,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m going to miss working with the science and math teachers.&uot;

She graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in science in elementary education and has 32 years of experience in education, the majority being in language arts and reading.