Haywood Schools shuffle the deck ahead of new year

Haywood County Schools has announced a handful of promotions among principals and assistant principals ahead of the upcoming school year.


The administrative shuffle is a standard exercise every summer, giving principals and assistant principals a chance to move up in their careers. The changes students and parents can expect come August include:

• Bethel Elementary and Middle School will welcome a new assistant principal, Natalie Boone. Boone previously oversaw implementation of a coveted $1 million federal grant to offer new physical education programs across the school system. She will replace Assistant Principal Clint Conner.

Boone said she was “eager and excited” to take on the new role at Bethel.

• Clyde Elementary will welcome Clint Conner as its new principal. Conner had been the assistant principal at Bethel. The former principal at Clyde, Pam Justice, is retiring.

• Waynesville Middle School will welcome a new assistant principal, Kim Shipman. Shipman was previously the lead teacher at Riverbend Elementary. “I know the job comes with a lot of responsibility. I will work hard,” Shipman said. Tammy Irish previously held the job but moved on to a job in another school system.

• Pisgah High School will have a new assistant principal, a position that has not yet been filled. The former assistant principal, Mark Sheppard, will take on a new role as the system-wide academic support director in the central office. Fred Trantham, who previously held the central office position, is retiring.

However, one of the biggest staffing changes facing Haywood County Schools might actually go unnoticed by parents and students: a reorganization of duties among central office staff to cope with the new realities of doing more with less. Budget cuts have led to the loss of several positions within central office in recent years, with their jobs and duties parceled up among the remaining staff.

“Someone would leave and they would have four or five roles and we would assign them to people, and eventually it didn’t make sense,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte said.

So this summer, they put all the cards on the table, so to speak.

“We literally put 3-by-5 [inch] index cards with all the major duties in the office out on a table and lined them up in a way that made the most sense,” Nolte said. “We reorganized a lot of jobs.”

A lot of jobs indeed, from student testing to teacher training, from school facility rentals to school policy oversight, from federal programs for the children of migrant workers to social services for homeless students.

Central office employees generally have anywhere from two to six roles, so the exercise was intended to pair up similar roles and then parcel them out accordingly.

On Nolte’s plate, for example, he will no longer be the one to authorize fundraising activities or approve overnight field trips, but he has picked up the annual balancing act of allotting the right number of teachers to each school based on changing student populations.

The shuffling of central office duties was spurred by the loss of two key people —Trantham and Danny Miller — who together managed everything from athletic program oversight to setting the school calendar to drug testing for bus drivers to textbook purchasing. Both are being replaced, but the timing was opportune to finally take the bull by the horns and reapportion who does what.

“Every job up here is loaded,” Nolte said.

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