Bay County's Lowest Performing Schools Get New Principals

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Starting in the fall, a pair of Bay County's "D" graded schools will be under new direction.

Highland Park Elementary School's current principal Patty Fowler will take over Oscar Patterson Elementary. Teachers and students at Oakland Terrace can also expect to see a new face next year. Lendy Willis, coming from Deer Point Elementary will be their new principal.

"The decisions they make are so critical I think it's really important we have the right fit," said School Board Member Steve Moss, "We put a lot of faith and effort into that principal at that individual school of being that head person, the main decision maker."

"There should be a renewed sense of energy and purpose, which is always good in business or in education," added School Board Member Ginger Littleton.

According to the district, reassignments are something normal in the spring. It just so happens to be the same year district officials honed their focus on Bay County's four lowest performing schools.

"All of them had high mobility," said Moss.

"Parent involvement, we don't have a vaccination for that," Littleton told NewsChannel 7.

As with any job, the responsibility ultimately lies with the boss, or principal in this case, but district officials assured there were no fingers to point here.

"There's no blame that goes with being a 'D' school, only challenges," Littleton said.

"You need a principal that has a unique skill set to work with not only the students but the community," said Moss.

Supintendent Bill Husfelt said these changes are pending school board approval. The principals would start their new jobs July 1st. If the changes do end up happening, both Fowler and Willis will qualify for $10,000 teacher incentives. It wasn't immediately clear who will fill the principal vacancies at Highland Park or Deer Point Elementary Schools.

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