Principal shuffle unfolds at schools
Whether it's called a changing of the guard or a shuffle of the deck, there will be principals in new positions at both Baldwin High School and Baldwin Junior High School next year.
But, there won't be any new faces.
It was announced to the faculties at both schools last week that current BHS principal Joe Gresnick will move to the assistant principal position at BJHS. Current BJHS assistant principal Bret Jones will move to the high school as assistant. The new BHS principal will be Allen Poplin, currently the assistant there.
Connie Wright, BJHS principal, will remain in that position. All involved feel the changes are good, including Wright who won't be moving like the rest.
"I'm different than the other three in that I'm staying put," said Wright. "They were looking for a change and I wasn't. I'm lucky. I love my job. I think the changes are great."
The idea behind the switch surfaced during recent conferences with each administrator.
"I spent an hour to an hour-and-a-half with each one of them looking to the future," said Supt. James White. "Joe indicated perhaps it was time for him to look at a change. They all felt like they wanted to approach the possibility as well. Each and everyone of them concurred that this would be a good situation for all of them."
All four of the principals said they're looking forward to the switch.
"I've been in this position for 13 years and I'm two years away from retirement," said Gresnick. "I'd like to have some added experience with working with younger kids. I'm just ready for a change. It will be different. I'm looking forward to it. I think it's a good thing for everyone."
Poplin, who has been Gresnick's assistant for nine years, knows it will be different, but there won't be that much change.
"Joe and I have worked real well together," said Poplin. "I don't know about being 'top dog;' there won't be many changes. I served as principal before coming here and Joe and I have shared the duties. To me, there's not a big change.
"The truth is I don't think it will be different," he said. "I will miss working with Joe every day. We've worked together for nine years. I think everyone is mostly excited for Joe. He'll still be here for ease of transition."
Poplin also looks forward to working with Jones, who was a teacher and coach at the high school level for years along with other administrative duties before moving to the junior high two years ago as an assistant to Wright.
"Bret certainly has the background with high school students and the experience," said Poplin. "We've already sat down and talked about making the transition."
Jones has 17 years experience with high school students. While he enjoyed his stint at BJHS, he's glad to be going back to BHS.
"I was feeling like a fish out of water," said Jones. "I don't want to retire as a middle school principal. Connie has been a great teacher for me. I love the junior high. I've had a great experience here.
"This is just an opportunity for me in a school district that I think is exceptional," he said. "I feel good about the whole thing. It wasn't what I was looking for, but I'm certainly not going to turn it down. I hope everybody will be happy with it. Not just the four of us, but both staffs and everyone in town."