Leaders named for 2 new schools
25 May 2021 — Journal Gazette
Ashley Sloboda

The leadership teams for two new Fort Wayne Community schools are beginning to take shape.

Superintendent Mark Daniel on Monday introduced Byron Brown as an assistant principal for Fort Wayne Virtual Academy, which launches this fall, and Riley Johnson as assistant principal of Electric Works School, which is set to open in fall 2022.

The school board approved the recommendations along with seven elementary school principal appointments.

Brown will oversee academics and operations for the online school's secondary grade levels, Daniel said. The school will enroll up to 720 students, including 420 in grades 6 through 12.

Brown joined the district this year as an administrative intern at South Side High School. He previously held administrative positions at Indianapolis Public Schools, Carpe Diem Innovative School and Hoosier Academy, and North Central High School.

At Electric Works, Johnson will oversee all operations of the STEAM-focused learning environment, Daniel said. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Johnson first joined FWCS in 2009. He was among the first teachers at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School, but he left the district in 2014 for California, where he was principal at the New Tech Network's flagship school.

Since returning to FWCS in 2019, Johnson has served as assistant principal at Northrop High School and the FWCS Career Academy.

The elementary school principal appointments include lateral changes for J.R. Ankenbruck, who moves from Holland to Lincoln; Claire Paul, who moves from Lincoln to Whitney Young Early Childhood Center; and Melissa Plumb, who moves from Whitney Young to Weisser Park.

Promotions were awarded to Courtney Gremaux, who moves from assistant principal at Price to principal at Harris; Rachel Merz, who rises from administrative intern at Croninger to principal; Stacey Schortgen, who moves from assistant principal at South Wayne to principal at Holland; and Jasmine Youngblutt, who rises from administrative intern at Northcrest to principal at Franke Park.

In other business, the board approved a grant application for and acceptance of $150,000 to help homeless students in FWCS and other Allen County districts through wraparound services outside of school hours.

The funding would be through the latest coronavirus relief package, which included $800 million to support the specific needs of homeless children and youth.

FWCS has 925 known homeless students, said Christian Perez Mora, families in transition coordinator.

Board member Noah Smith said he wishes those who addressed other school boards about mask requirements would learn more about the challenges facing schools, students and teachers.

"We have bigger fish to fry than masks," Smith said. "It breaks my heart to hear we have almost 1,000 kids who are homeless."


This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"Leaders named for 2 new schools" Journal Gazette 25 May 2021: C1