BCPS leaders to take on new assignments

BCPS leaders to take on new assignments
Posted on 05/31/2019

Morganton, NC – Friday, May 31, 2019

Burke County Public Schools is pleased to announce school leaders who will assume new roles within the district for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “We are excited about the opportunities these talented educators have to advance their careers and take on new positions. The need to fill these openings arose from retirements, resignations and advancements, and since Burke County Public Schools attempts to promote qualified candidates from within, it created a domino effect. Change can be difficult, but it also is exciting. I am confident each of these moves will help our school system continue to grow and achieve academically.”

This most recent round of announcements stems from openings created when Director of Advanced Learning and Innovation, Kathy Amos, was named the superintendent of Yancey County Schools; Angie Hensley, who was over child nutrition, took a position in the private sector; and the duties of Debbie Jennings, who is currently taking on a dual role with Secondary Education and Career and Technical Education, were divided.

As previously announced, Christie Abernathy is the new Director of Advanced Learning and Innovation; Daniel Wall is the new Director of Child Nutrition; and Felicia Simmons is the new Director of Secondary Education. By Simmons taking over one of the dual roles Jennings has, Jennings now will be able to focus her role solely on Career and Technical Education and working with Dr. Putnam and Burke County Public Schools’ partners in education, such as Western Piedmont Community College and Burke Development, Inc., to develop a more educated workforce in Burke County. Simmons will be able to focus solely on overseeing


Abernathy, Wall and Simmons’ replacements are as follows:

Abernathy’s replacement at Liberty Middle School is Brett Wilson, current principal at Walter Johnson Middle School.

Wall’s replacement at Valdese Elementary School is Charles Williams, current principal at Mountain View Elementary School.

Simmons’ replacement at Freedom High School is Casey Rogers, current assistant principal and head basketball coach at Freedom. Rogers will step down as basketball coach and name his replacement at a later date.

The following individuals also have new assignments for the 2019-20 school year:

Lora Austin has been named Principal of Walter Johnson Middle School. She is Principal at East Burke Middle School.

Keith Recker has been named Principal of East Burke Middle School. He is Principal at Drexel Elementary School.

Jessie Gravel has been named Principal of Drexel Elementary School. She is Assistant Principal at Drexel and Glen Alpine elementary schools.

Christie McMahon has been named Principal of Mountain View Elementary School. She is Principal at W.A. Young Elementary School.

Jeannie Jandrew has been named Principal of W.A. Young Elementary School. She is Principal at George Hildebrand Elementary School.

Erin Wall has been named Principal of George Hildebrand Elementary School. She is Assistant Principal at Walter Johnson Middle School.

Ginger Stinson has been named Principal of Salem Elementary School. She is Assistant Principal at Patton High School.

Bob Acord has been named Director of Transportation; Acord is the Assistant Auxiliary Services Director and is replacing John Cansler, who is retiring.

Kevin Heron has been named Assistant Auxiliary Services Director. Heron is the current maintenance supervisor.

Jonelle Bobak is the new Marketing and Communications Specialist for Burke County Public Schools. Bobak comes to the school system after having spent the last four years as a multimedia journalist at The News Herald.

The new principal assignments take effect July 1, 2019.

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