Bridges Charter School announced Thursday the names of its new principal and assistant principal.
Merry A. Lowe began her tenure as the school’s administrative director and principal, with Danny Haire as the school’s associate director and assistant principal.
The changes took effect on Thursday, April 25.
Lowe said she had been elected at a Board of Directors meeting Thursday. She said that prior to her election she had served as interim principal since November.
Lowe said she had been with the school in an administrative capacity as the coordinator for 14 years prior to that.
Lowe said she was a graduate of Vanderbuilt University and the University of Georgia, and also studied at Duke and Appalachian State. She said she had taught at Elkin City Schools and had been awarded ‘school system teacher of the year’
Haire is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a degree from the University of North Carolina, as well as having expertise in the area of testing and accountability, she said. She added that he had served as a past Executive Director of YVEDDI and was a native of Yadkin County.
“They’re doing some restructuring of the school. We’re still in the process of how things are going to change. Really no other staff is changing, but additional new board members are being considered at this time. Then we had a new election of officers,” Lowe said.
A school press release stated that the board of directors is “actively involved in the restructuring of the school.”
“They’re trying to restructure the school because of what we went through last summer and wanting to be a little more proactive,” Lowe said.
“We appealed and filed for a court hearing when it was announced our charter may be revoked,” said Mary Ann Finger, the chair of Bridges Charter School, at the time. “Then we started negotiating and signed on Thursday at a called meeting.”
The changes come following the school’s charter revocation last summer. The school appealed and filed for a court hearing when the revocation was announced, and eventually was able to negotiate with the N.C. State Board of Education on terms that the school would make expected growth in the next three years and have staff trained in Individualized Education Programs (IEP).
The school is increasing enrollment as part of the promised terms. Bridges is now accepting enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year, with Lowe saying the school hopes to increase enrollment by 20 percent.
Bridges started the school year with 141 students, according to an Tribune article written last fall.
Bridges Charter School opened in 1997 in the basement of the old Hugh Chatham nursing home and moved to its current location on Pleasant Ridge Road in State Road in 1999. It was one of the first three charter schools to open in North Carolina.
The only qualifications to go to Bridges are that the student must live in North Carolina, be within the grade levels taught and the school cannot be too full. Bridges mainly serves Wilkes, Surry and Yadkin County.
“I think we are moving forward in the right direction,” said Beverly Walsh, secretary of the Board of Directors for Bridges. “Birdges was built on great foundations and we look forward to moving forward with growth and reaching out to the community for support.”
Walsh added, “We want community involvement ,and we want to see Bridges grow.”
To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.