London Elementary School is in a period of transition as the school’s principal retires and a new administrator takes on the role for the 2017-2018 school year.
The retirement of Principal Carol Daniels was approved by the London City Schools Board of Education Tuesday, as well as the hiring of her successor, Tabitha Wilburn.
“Tabitha, most recently, comes to us as the interim principal at Mount Gilead Schools,” said Superintendent Lou Kramer. “Over the course of her career, however, she’s put on a fair number of hats including dean of students. She’s served as an enrichment coordinator and she has also been a Kindergarten, first and second grade teacher as well.”
For six months, she worked as the sole administrator of the Mount Gilead district’s Park Avenue Elementary School. The building had 680 students and 75 staff members.
In other experience, Wilburn holds a bachelor’s degree in education from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in early childhood education with a specialty in reading from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and is finishing up of another master’s in educational administration from Concordia University. Wilburn’s starting salary will be $87,500.
Wilburn said she was excited and thankful for her new job this fall, looking forward to working with the teachers and students.
“I have friends who work here and they said nothing but positive things about working here,” she said.
Despite being her first job as the official principal, she felt it would be an easier leap from Mount Gilead to London, which she said is very similar in both culture and demographics.
Regardless, she said she would be working hard to investigate the school’s needs and how she can work with staff to meet them.
“I want to find out what everyone’s vision is, meet teachers and really celebrate what we are already doing well,” she said.
According to Kramer, Daniels, the outgoing principal worked in education for more than 40 years, the bulk of it working at London City Schools.
In her last year, she oversaw charities, a walk to school day and fourth-grade teacher Mark Stafford recognized as one of central Ohio’s “distinguished educators” by education advocacy group Battelle for Kids, in December.
Other business from Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting:
• Cheryl Ryan, a representative from the Ohio School Boards Association, presented the results from a survey conducted by the group for the school district. For the survey, 130 people in the district responded.
One of the major conclusions from the survey was a need to improve communication with residents who do not have children in the district, which made up almost 74 percent of respondents.
“I think the survey provided good feedback on where we need to work better, particularly in communication, a concern we’ve had previously which has now been validated,” said Kramer. “We want to find a line of direct communication with community members who do not have students in the district, perhaps ensuring a community newsletter gets to every community member.”
• The board approved the purchase of a 72-passenger bus from the Bluebird Retirement Community in London for $83,950 as well as a van from an undisclosed seller for $20,000.
“Those were not anticipated expenses,” said Treasurer Kristine Blind. “Those were out a year further in my forecast, but because of the balance of funds we had in our budget this year and the opportunity that was presented to us; we went ahead and made those purchases. That will eliminate the budgeted amount that we had next year for a new maintenance vehicle. We scrapped that plan and came out with an alternative.”
She mentioned it was saving money compared to the original plan.
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.