The sudden announcement last week that newly hired Franklin County High School principal Yvette Lerner had backed out of the job left the district in a quandary, but Superintendent Nina Marks said she believes she has righted the ship.
In an email sent out Thursday evening, July 31, Marks notified staff that Lerner, who was hired June 19, had notified her that “regretfully she will be unable to fulfill her commitment to the Franklin County School District.” Marks said Wednesday that the matter concerned “a serious health issue.”
In her email, Marks wrote that she was placing Kris Bray as interim principal and Harolyn Walker as interim assistant principal, pending school board approval Thursday night, Aug. 7.
Marks said she expects both women to hold the positions throughout the year, if they are approved by the school board. She said the interim distinction is necessary, because a permanent replacement would require she begin the hiring process once again. Lerner, from Chipley, was among about two dozen applicants who applied to succeed Eric Bidwell as principal.
“I’m not going back to advertise,” said Marks. “We can’t lose the momentum. We don’t have the time to bring them up to speed with what they’ve been working on. We’re going to keep moving and everybody’s seems to be fine with that.
Both women have experience at the school, Bray as assistant principal last year, and Walker, a former teacher, as academic coach.
“I believe with the immediate changes we have a plan in place and we have momentum going,” said Marks. “We have welcomed 10 new people to our facility. They came in and met with the principal and me Monday. I think everything is positive, plans are in place and a lot of continuity is being carried on through the summer and into the fall
“I believe were headed into a very positive, great year to come,” she said. “Everyone is on board and ready to go.”
The Franklin County School will host a Meet and Greet Social on Thursday, August 14 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Parents are invited to meet the administration and staff for the 2014-15 school year and enjoy delectable food items prepared by the award-winning cafeteria staff.
While classroom assignments and schedules will not be given out at that time, registration packets will be available. In addition, Marks said, registration packets can be obtained at the bus barn in Carrabelle, the school district office in Eastpoint, and the former Apalachicola High School in Apalachicola.
On Friday, August 15, the Franklin County School will host an Open House from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school’s media center.
During that Open House, students will be able to fill out 2014-15 registration packets, although if they returned their packet in the spring, they will not need to fill out another one. Parents and students will be able to visit teachers and classrooms, and drop off school supplies.