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Garinger, Hough among six schools with new leaders

Six Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, including Garinger and Hough high schools, are getting new principals in moves approved Tuesday.

Leadership changes at the high schools are ripple effects from a top-level reorganization Superintendent Heath Morrison announced last week.

Terri Cockerham, who was principal when Hough High opened in Cornelius three years ago, was named chief of human resources, a promotion the school board approved Tuesday. Laura Rosenbach, principal of Bradley Middle, was named to take Cockerham’s place at Hough, which has about 2,100 students and is among the district’s highest-performing high schools.

Garinger Principal Kondra Rattley, who has worked for CMS since 1996, was named executive director of one of the seven “learning communities,” or administrative districts, Morrison created as part of his reorganization. (The announcement did not specify which office she’ll work in.) Mike Drye, principal of Nathaniel Alexander Elementary, was named principal of Garinger, an east Charlotte school with about 1,500 students.

The school board approved Kevin Hobbs, deputy superintendent in Baltimore County, Md., as community superintendent for the new South zone.

Other new principals are:

• Janet Moss, assistant principal at Martin Luther King Middle, becomes principal of Coulwood Middle School.

• Jeanette Reber, assistant principal at Ashley Park PreK-8 School, was promoted to lead that school. The previous principal, Tonya Kales, is superintendent of Morrison’s new East zone.

• Brian Slattery, assistant principal at Elizabeth Traditional Elementary, becomes principal at Endhaven Elementary.

• Mary Weston, a former CMS administrator who now works for Washington, D.C., schools, was named principal of Bruns Academy, a preK-8 school.

Also Tuesday, Morrison and Chief Financial Officer Sheila Shirley said uncertainty about the state budget makes it impossible for CMS to lock in its 2013-14 budget. Among the big questions is how many teacher assistant jobs will be eliminated. The House budget plan would translate to a $2.6 million cut for CMS teacher assistants, while the Senate plan would cost CMS $15 million in assistant positions.

“This is the best example of why we can’t make any final decisions yet,” Shirley said.

Board member Eric Davis railed against state proposals that eliminate assistants and provide no raises for teachers and other state employees. He noted that people often urge school districts to run their operations more like a business.

“This is not the way to run a successful business,” Davis said. “This is not good for our students. A successful business needs investment.”

The county budget approved last week includes a $19 million increase for CMS, while the plan approved by the school board in May sought a $28.5 million increase.

Helms: 704-358-5033;Twitter @anndosshelms
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