NEW KNOXVILLE — The New Knoxville Board of Education held a special meeting Thursday night to accept the resignation of Elementary Principal Julie Willoughby and to accept the hire of four new employees.
Superintendent Kim Waterman said Willoughby accepted a position at another Ohio elementary school.
“Mrs. Willoughby got an elementary position in Urbana at Urbana East Elementary,” Waterman said. “It’s a third and fourth grade elementary school with about 350 students.”
Waterman said New Knoxville Local School will not be looking to replace her for the upcoming school year.
“(High School Principal Linda) Tebbe will become the 4-12 principal, and I (Waterman) will be picking up K-3,” she said.
Waterman said the decision not to replace Willoughby had several factors.
“Based on uncertainties of the budget and we’re down about 17 kids — that’s a whole classroom – and with Brookside leaving our community, we felt at this time we need this year to see if we can do it – if we can take those duties and split them and still get a good job done,” she said.
Waterman noted they will evaluate their performance at the conclusion of the school year and then decide on adjustments.
“We will evaluate after this year, and it may be part-time or it may end up being full-time,” Waterman said. “We don’t know for sure.”
Vice President Phil Kuck touted the strength of the administration.
“The administration we have in the building right now is strong,” Kuck said. “They know education and they’ve been around a lot of years. They’ve worked together to get where we’re at now, so they’re going to put their best foot forward and see what we can do to continue what we have. It’s a year of trial.”
Kuck noted Willoughby was an asset to New Knoxville Local School.
“I think one of the strong things Julie had was she knew how to take a look at the test results and how to manipulate things in order to make determinations of what our next steps need to be,” he said. “She had a real strong background in that. I think that’s been a real huge asset to the development of the teachers and the progress of the students. She brought a lot to the table with that. I’m sure she’ll do well at Urbana.”
Board member Brian Lammers also noted the development of the teachers has been a success.
“Our continuing education with our staff was important, too, and I’m sure it’s going to continue,” Lammers said. “Our staff has benefited from that the past few years. What they’ve gained and what they’ve learned has probably contributed to the great performances by the kids.”
Kuck said Willoughby will be missed.
“I, personally, want to thank Julie for her time and her efforts,” he said. “She brought a lot of things to New Knoxville Schools, to the students and to the staff. She’ll be missed. I wish her the best of luck.”
In other business, board members:
• Approved the meeting’s agenda.
• Approved the hiring of Kay Webb, assistant volleyball coach, Shelly Busse, junior varsity volleyball coach, Joel Mosier, assistant soccer coach, and Poncheena Schwarck, van driver.
The next regular meeting of the New Knoxville Board of Education is at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 in the media center.