WILMINGTON — Three new principals have been hired for Wilmington City Schools (WCS), two of them current principals with Amelia, Ohio schools that will combine this fall with Glen Este schools.
The open principal positions filled Monday night are at the high school where Melinda “Mindy” McCarty-Stewart is moving on to be WCS superintendent; at the middle school where Jeff Sherby is leaving to find something closer to home; and at Holmes Elementary where Carrie Zeigler, who had been with WCS 18 years, has accepted a job with State Farm Insurance in Wilmington.
The new high school principal will be Stephanie N. Walker who has been Amelia High School principal for three years. The new middle school principal will be Norbert “Bert” J. Martini who has been Amelia Middle School principal for three years. And the new Holmes Elementary School principal is Cortney Karshner-Rethmel who has been a WCS dean of students with a split schedule at Holmes and Denver Place elementaries for two years.
WCS Superintendent Ron Sexton said the district is “getting people with great experience and great credentials.”
Walker has a strong background in special education, having taught special-needs students during 1997 to 2002, and serving as special education supervisor at West Clermont from 2002 to 2006.
Next she began her work as principal, taking the same three-level journey as students, going from principal at Amelia Elementary from 2006 to 2013, principal at Amelia Middle School in 2013-14, and then principal at Amelia High School from 2014 to the present.
Amelia High School has about 1,250 students with a professional staff of 130.
In her resume, Walker stated she “recruits, selects, nurtures and retains effective instructional and classified [support] personnel by encouraging open lines of communication, providing continuous feedback and utilizing motivational techniques.”
Martini earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, and was a consulting electrical engineer for nearly eight years. He returned to higher education and became certified for mathematics education, and was a math teacher at Princeton High School for six years.
He was principal at Jac-Cen-Del Junior-Senior High School in Osgood, Indiana for two years before becoming principal of Amelia Middle School in 2014.
On Martini’s resume, he listed under the “Collaboration” heading that he involved corporate sponsors in hosting the only Rube Goldberg Machine contest in Indiana. He also stated he led a team of teachers to design a Standards Based grading system. “This system allows for the teacher and the student to reflect on each student’s learning versus being primarily concerned with points and grades,” he wrote.
Under the heading of “Curriculum”, he stated he led a process of creating 35 new course offerings with staff and students in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), foreign language, English, music, social studies, mathematics, and business.
And under “Professional Development”, Martini wrote he took part in a University of Cincinnati summer program for writing STEM and project-based learning (PBL) lesson plans for the National Science Foundation. His was selected as the best project for the program by the professors, students and other participants.
Karshner-Rethmel started her career in education at WCS, teaching third-graders at Denver Place Elementary for two years from 2008 to 2010. She got married and moved, but returned so she could be closer to family and be back in Wilmington, she said.
She taught at Paulding Exempted Village Schools for three years teaching kindergartners, and then was curriculum coordinator there for two years.
“I’m so excited to be with the staff and the students and the parents and just really start this journey with them,” she said Monday.
In other WCS news, the school board approved a collective bargaining agreement with the teachers union — the Wilmington Education Association. It is for three years.
The contract provides for salary increases of 2 percent in year one, 3 percent in year two, and 2.5 percent in year three, said Sexton.
Negotiations with classified employees — the support staff — are ongoing, said the superintendent.
“A lot of thought went into it. It’s fair for the board [of education] and the teachers. We want the best teachers,” Sexton said.
He recalled that in the post-2008 years there were a few years of zero increases in salary and no step increases. “The teachers worked with us to keep as many teachers as possible,” said Sexton of the Great Recession and the loss of more than 8,100 Wilmington Air Park jobs.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.