The Florence Unified School District has filled three principal positions for the 2007-08 school year after choosing not to renew the contracts of three current principals.
Robert Pappalardo will be principal of the new Circle Cross Ranch K-8 School, Glenda Grant will lead Skyline Ranch K-8 School, and Kathy Brown will hold the top spot at Anthem K-8 School.
Pappalardo and Brown are both currently principals in the Apache Junction Unified School District, where Florence’s newly appointed interim superintendent Gary Nine worked for 20 years prior to his retirement in 2005.
“It’s not a coincidence,” Nine said. “I worked with one of them for nine years and the other for 20. They know me, they’re good at what they do, and we were fortunate to get them to come down here.”
Pappalardo has been in education since 1981 and has been principal of Apache Junction’s Desert Shadows Middle School since 1998. He’s also worked for the Queen Creek, Laveen and Mesa districts.
Brown has been with the Apache Junction district since 1983, where she’s currently the principal of Desert Vista Elementary School.
Grant began teaching in 1994 and is currently an elementary school principal in Roswell, N.M. Nine said he was looking for high quality, veteran principals to fill the positions.
“They’re all good leaders,” he said. “They know the craft of leadership and they know education and they know kids. They’ve all taken low-performing schools and turned them into highly performing schools. They know what they’re all about, and I trust them.”
The board decided in February not to offer contracts for next year to current principals Kacy Lewis of Anthem K-8, Barbara Sanchez of Copper Basin K-8 and Bob Meko of Skyline Ranch K-8.
The district is still in the process of searching for a principal for Copper Basin.