March 5, 2010
Duluth school district
By Jana Hollingsworth
Principals for Duluth’s reconfigured high
schools were announced Thursday.
Lisa Mitchell-Krocak, currently principal at Central, will remain
there next year and move to Denfeld as principal the following year.
Denfeld principal Ed Crawford will move to Duluth
East next year, and become Laurie Knapp’s co-principal, where
both will remain the following year.
The district also announced that Morgan Park Middle
School principal Denise Clairmont will remain where she is next
year, and so will Woodland Middle School principal Gina Kleive.
“These are some of our most seasoned leaders
in the district, with long tenures,” said Superintendent Keith
Dixon. “They know the high schools very well, and I think
that’s going to bode well during the transition.”
Central will have two assistant principals: Vance
Hopkins, already at Central, and Nathan Glockle, who is moving from
East. Denfeld assistant principal Tonya Sconiers will go to East.
The decision to have co-principals at East was
made because Dixon expects one to remain longer than the other,
he said, and that will make it easier for the other to continue
“We’re trying to look at a more sustained
long-term picture by some of these,” he said.
Crawford, who has been at Denfeld five years,
worked at East for 23 years before that. He had mixed feelings Thursday
about his move, but said he looks forward to new challenges and
“There is such a high amount of community
support at Denfeld very unique to this school,” he said. “There
is a real allegiance among the alumni association. … I am
going to miss that about Denfeld. And the students are a great bunch
Crawford said he expects many Denfeld teachers
will end up at East once everyone is placed this spring, so the
move isn’t as sad as it could be. And students are resilient,
“Their focus is to make the transition to
Central for one year, and they have been very involved in that,”
he said. “For many of those kids, it’s probably more
crucial that they have teachers who are going to be at Central who
they know and trust. That is going to be the conduit between Denfeld
Denfeld activities director Tom Pearson will be
at Central next year. He said the announcement Thursday answered
“the million-dollar question.”
“It’s the first piece of the puzzle,”
he said. “People have been waiting for this decision for several
Now that it’s settled, when the “big
fill” happens in the spring, teachers will know where the
principals are going to be, he said.
During the big fill, all secondary staff will
receive notice of displacement and, as staffing needs become clear,
teachers will be able to choose where they want to go primarily
based on seniority. Teaching licensure will also be at play.
Pearson was surprised that the Denfeld team didn’t
end up at Central, he said, “but both buildings are going
to be well-represented by very capable administrators who are going
to build relationships with students.”