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Mark Savage named 2013 Wake County Principal of the Year

Mark Savage was named the 2013 Wake County Principal of the year on Thursday and Teresa Caswell was named Assistant Principal of the Year.

Savage has been principal of Heritage High School in Wake Forest since it opened in 2010. He has worked in Wake since 1997, starting as an English teacher at Leeesville Road High School before becoming assistant principal and later principal of Wakefield Middle School and principal of Wakefield High School.

Mother lobbies Wake County school board to change student Internet access policy

Does the Wake County school system do enough to keep students away from pornographic and violent websites on school computers?

As noted in today's article, Carolyn Homan doesn't think so and has been trying to urge the school system to do more since November 2011. Feeling she wasn't getting anywhere, she made her pitch directly to the school board on Tuesday.

Homan showed a YouTube video and held up explicit images that she said she had found while surfing computers at her children's school, Brassfield Elementary School.

Wake County school board talks about how attractive to make year-round calendar options

Barring any last-minute changes next week, it looks like the new year-round calendar option for Lynn Road Elementary base families will be Wakefield Elementary.

But the discussion on the issue during Tuesday's Wake County school board student assignment work session raises issues about the role year-round calendar options should play in the district. Should Wake continue to not offer year-round options that are considered more attractive than the base school?

The discussion also raised the prospect that the school system may at some point convert Wakefield Elementary back to a traditional calendar.

Wake County school system announces 2012-13 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year finalists

The Wake County school system has announced the finalists for the 2012-13 Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year awards.

The finalists for Principal of the Year are Kevin Biles of Pleasant Union Elementary in Raleigh, Kenneth Branch of Brentwood Elementary in Raleigh, Paula Trantham of Millbrook Elementary in Raleigh,  Brian Pittman of Holly Ridge Middle in Holly Springs and Ericka Lucas of East Wake School of Arts, Education and Global Studies in Wendell.

The finalists for Assistant Principal of the Year are Teresa Caswell of Lead Mine Elementary in Raleigh, Ruth Ann Freeman of Bugg Elementary in Raleigh, Travis Shillings of Brassfield Elementary in Raleigh, Wynette Martin of East Cary Middle and Matthew Rice of Enloe High in Raleigh.

The finalists were nominated by their peers. The winners will be announced at a celebration on Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh.

1345647635 Wake County school system announces 2012-13 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year finalists The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Principals announced for Rolesville Middle and Brassfield Elementary

The Wake County school board named two new principals tonight and transferred another school leader to a job in Central Office.

Dhedra Lassiter was named principal of the new Rolesville Middle opening in  July with a salary of $98,350. She's been principal of Heritage Middle since 2007.

Elizabeth MacWilliams was named principal of Brassfield Road Elementary with a salary of $68,513. She's been an assistant principal at Davis Drive Elementary since 2009.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST FOR BIO SHEETS

School board sees dissent on principal appointments

Normally, the Wake County school board approves principal appointments unanimously.

But tonight, the board voted 6-2 on the entire list of administrative appointments presented to them. School board vice chairman John Tedesco and board member Debra Goldman didn't specify which one(s) they opposed.

Here's the list:

SEE END OF POST FOR BIO SHEETS

School board makes high school principal changes

The Wake County school board moved one high school principal to Central Office this evening and transferred another principal to a different school.

John Williams, the principal of Middle Creek High School in Cary, was appointed senior director for high school education. The job became open after Ruth Steidinger switched to being senior director for middle school education.

Williams opened Middle Creek in 2001 and will leave the school on Nov. 1. Thomas Dixon will serve as interim principal at Middle Creek, Dixon, the former longtime principal of Apex High School, will receive a salary that's equivalent to $131,580 a year.

Proposed assignment plan changes from staff

There's some good news and bad news for parents about potential changes in the Wake County student assignment plan.

Staff is recommending today that North Ridge Elementary now feed into Sanderson High instead of Millbrook High. Staff says there's capacity at both schools and it will free up more magnet seats at Millbrook, create more seats for students who live near that school and still give proximity priority to some North Ridge families who want Millbrook to Sanderson.

Staff said they can't recommend the proposal from parents to do a 40-40 split for both high schools or sunset current North Ridge students because it would set a precedent they'd feel would have to be offered to families at other schools as well. They said offering a mix of base assignments with a choice plan got Charlotte-Mecklenburg in trouble.

UPDATE

The assignment plan was approved as recommended by staff with no changes.

Speakers raise concerns about new student assignment plan

Most of the 28 speakers at Thursday's public hearing wanted the Wake County school board to make changes and/or delay a vote on adoption of the new student assignment plan.

As noted in today's article, several speakers referenced Tuesday's election results that brought in three new school board members and could result in a new Democratic majority taking office Dec. 6. Speakers asked for a delay until November or December.

"If the board is willing to wait one month until after we see what the results of the next election are, Mr. Hill’s seat, I believe that the board will begin to come together in a much more dignified way and that the decision that is made will reflect the will of the entire community and not just a narrow majority," said the Rev. Tom Rhodes.

Looking at the District 3 school board race

It's the self-described "principled principal" running against three challengers who all think they can do a better job of representing District 3 on the Wake County school board.

As noted in today's article, school board member Kevin Hill is emphasizing his education background in his re-election bid. With the departure of Carolyn Morrison in December, Hill says he would potentially be the only board member left with experience as a teacher and principal.

"As a Board of Education, it's important to have some perspectives from an educator with both my experience as a teacher and principal," Hill said.

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