Turnaround Principal to be appointed for Cedar Grove Elem.

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Bay District School Board members will consider administrative changes for seven schools in the upcoming school year, but they don't have control over one change, as the state pushes districts to change principals at failing schools.

The Florida Department of Education has identified Cedar Grove Elementary as a "Turnaround School," since it has received a "D" or "F" grade since 2012.

"The state this past year wanted me to do something. They kind of twisted our arm, said do this, do this, do this, and I said give it one more year, and I'll do something and so that's why we're making the change now," Superintendent Bill Husfelt said.

Husfelt appointed Shirley Baker to the new position of "Turnaround Principal." Baker will work to change the school's performance for two years then pass on the reins and help another school.

"The task for a Turnaround Principal can be daunting, and I was honored that he felt us for the task," Baker said.

Husfelt chose Baker based on her previous experience, especially at Everitt Middle School which has similar demographics and challenges as Cedar Grove.

"It's just a new set of eyes, a new feeling around there. It's hopefully going to be energizing to the teachers and refreshing, and that's what we want to do. We want to press the restart button for them," Husfelt said.

"While I'm being placed there for a state mandated reason, my focus is always on what's best for the students and to help the teachers provide what's best for the students. While the title may sound likes it's different, the goal is always the same," Baker said.

School Board members are set to vote on the new positions at their meeting Tuesday afternoon.

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