Board seeks more administrative help at grade school

FRONT ROYAL — The Warren County Public Schools Board passed a measure Wednesday that will give E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School one principal and two assistant principals. Prior to the meeting, E. Wilson Morrison had one principal and one assistant principal.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Superintendent Greg Drescher said that the district needed more administrators in the school.

“One of the things that I believe we’ve determined is that they need additional support,” Drescher said of the school.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Drescher vaguely referred to findings in the student data as reasons for the additional position. The district frequently reviews student data and makes adjustments within individual schools based on those findings, he said.

“We review all student data — their student achievement data, their student discipline data, their attendance data — and then in talking with staff and others, we just determined what each school needs in terms of the additional support,” Drescher said.

But he did not offer any specifics about what made the district determine the elementary school needed more administrators on site.

Drescher said that having an additional administrator will help the district focus on specific changes the school needs to make.

“It’s like any job: when you have more people doing the job, you can focus more on more specific things,” Drescher said.

During Wednesday’s meeting, School Board members agreed to place Lisa Rudacille, the district’s director of elementary instruction, into the position of principal for the elementary school. Rudacille will continue to serve in her current role, as well.

That move, Drescher said, will allow the district to financially afford to have one principal and two assistant principals at the school. Rudacille will receive a $7,500 stipend for each year that she serves in the role.

“It allowed us to add that additional support without adding anything additional to the budget,” Drescher said. “If I could, I would gladly put another full-time person there. But we could not afford to do that.”

But Drescher added that Rudacille comes with the experience to help the school out administratively. She was previously the principal of Ressie Jeffries Elementary School.

“She’s …a highly successful, experienced elementary school principal,” Drescher said. “And I think she’s going to be able to help everybody just kind of focus on the right things and keep moving forward and helping more kids be successful.”

Nicole Jensen, the current principal of E. Wilson, is leaving the district. The district has hired Shane Goodwin to take the additional assistant principal positions starting in July.

Drescher described Rudacille’s job of principal for E. Wilson as a temporary position, intended to last one or two years.

“A short period of time, just to try to give them some extra help, try to turn some things around,” Drescher said.

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that Nicole Jenson, E. Wilson Morrison’s current principal, is leaving the district. She will not be moved into the position of assistant principal.