Changes in area schools
Some new faces, others are changing assignments
New faces will be seen in two of the Marietta City Schools buildings this year including a new principal at Phillips Elementary School and a new assistant principal at Marietta Middle School.
Kristi Lantz, 37, of Williamstown, has started making her home at Phillips Elementary as the new principal while former principal Todd Caltrider will be back in the classroom at Harmar Elementary School teaching fifth grade.
Belpre resident Tim Fleming, 33, will serve as the new assistant principal at Marietta Middle School while his predecessor, Todd Bradford, is returning to Frontier High/Middle School to teach English/language arts.
“We are very excited about welcoming these experienced administrators into our district,” said Marietta City Schools Superintendent Will Hampton. “They have unique skills that will be beneficial to the district.”
Lantz has been working as the professional growth coordinator for RESA 5 located in Parkersburg. The Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) works to crate professional development in more than 50 schools in the eight-county region that Lantz covered.
“I have never felt more welcome by a group of people and I already feel extremely at home,” said Lantz.
She said she is very eager to share her passion for reading with the students at Phillips.
“I’m very detailed oriented and I have a strong passion for curriculum,” she said. “I’m just excited about everything. I feel connected with the teachers already and I’m excited about the relationships I’ve already made and for them to continue to grow. I also want to make the parents feel welcomed.”
The salary for Lantz is $73,517 a year which was approved during Marietta City School’s June Board of Education meeting.
“I have a lot of ideas in my head and I’ll probably take the year to decide what the needs are at the school and then address them,” she said. “This is sort of like my dream job at Phillips.”
Lantz said Caltrider has helped the transition be easier by providing documents and helpful information about her new position.
“Todd has been incredible and I couldn’t thank him enough for helping me,” she said. “I’m just so excited to get the year started.”
Meanwhile, Fleming has experience being an assistant principal in Wood County. He began his career as a second grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School for three years in Wood County, then taught gifted education for one year at Jefferson Elementary School.
He also had a split position assistant principalship at McKinley Elementary School and Kanawha School for one year, and spent the last year as assistant principal at Franklin Elementary School in Wood County.
“I’m excited about moving to this side of the river,” he said. “I wanted to be back in Ohio and part of the community for a few years now. It will be a little different.”
Fleming’s salary is going to be $57,315.
“The No. 1 goal will be serving the children,” he said. “Everything else will fall into place. Coming in, everyone has been so welcoming and administration and staff have been so helpful with anything I’ve needed. They’re enthusiastic for me to start. Now I’m just excited to meet the students. I have a lot to look forward to.”
Hampton said that he actually coached Fleming in football at Belpre when he was younger.
“He was an excellent kid and a high quality man,” he said. “Both of the new hires have started getting their ducks in a row and have been in the buildings and their offices. I think they’re learning how the district works and I’m excited about that.”
In other parts of the county, Frontier High and Middle School’s previous principal, Bill Creighton, is moving back to New Matamoras Elementary to serve as princpal. The most recent principal of New Matamoras, Beth Brown, is moving to the high and middle school.
“Bill had an interest in going back to New Matamoras before Beth Brown was hired,” said Superintendent Brian Rentsch. “When Beth decided to go to the high school, Bill was able to go back to the elementary school and that’s why that swap was made.”
According to Creighton, he was the principal of New Matamoras in the 1990s. After that, he was the principal of Lawrence Elementary School until that school closed. He’s been at Frontier High and Middle School for the last four years.
“It’s like a homecoming going back to New Matamoras,” said Creighton. “I’ve spent a lot of my career with the younger kids and I look forward to that. Being principal of a high school can be time consuming and I have my 6-month-old granddaughter that I haven’t gotten to see a whole lot.”
Creighton is excited about the change, as is Brown.
“I was assistant principal for Fort Frye High School for the last 15 years before this year at New Matamoras,” she said. “A lot of my career has been at the high school level and it’s something I’m familiar with. The opportunity presented itself and I’m very excited about the change.”
According to Rentsch, neither of their salaries will change by making this swap.
At a glance
¯Education: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Ohio University.
¯Work History: Second grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School for three years in Wood County, taught gifted education for one year at Jefferson Elementary School, split position assistant principal at McKinley Elementary School and Kanawha School for one year and spent the last year as assistant principal at Franklin Elementary School in Wood County.
¯Salary at Marietta Middle School: $57,315.
¯ Age: 37.
¯ Residence: Williamstown.
¯ Education: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a minor in learning disabilities from West Virginia Wesleyan College, Master of Arts in Reading Education from East Carolina University and an add-on licensure in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
¯Work History: Special education teacher at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School for a year, first grade teacher at Sallie B. Howard School for four years then reading first coach there for an additional two years, principal of Sallie B. Howard School for four years and professional growth coordinator at RESA 5 from 2014 to present.
¯ Salary at Phillips Elementary School: $73,517.