Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Fredericksen and the Wicomico County Board of Education are pleased to announce the appointment of three new assistant principals for the 2015-2016 school year, effective July 1, 2015.
At its June 9 meeting, the Board approved the appointments of Kimberly M. Waters, Lisa King and Bob Purnell as assistant principals. Their school assignments will be announced in the near future.
An appointment and a new assignment were announced earlier in the year for Tara O’Barsky as the Assistant Principal for Parkside High School with responsibility for the Department of Career and Technology Education (CTE), and Dr. Bonnie Ennis as the Supervisor of School Improvement, Accountability and Strategic Planning.
Ms. Waters is currently serving as the dean of students at East Salisbury Elementary, a position she has held since 2012. She had previously served East Salisbury as a fifth-grade teacher and media specialist. She began her teaching career in Baltimore County Public Schools in 1995 before returning to her home county in 2007. A graduate of James M. Bennett High, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Towson University. She received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Salisbury University as a member of the Lower Eastern Shore School Leadership Institute (LESSLI) to prepare educators to become effective school leaders. Superintendent Fredericksen selected Ms. Waters was one of five Wicomico educators for this prestigious three-year institute. She holds a Maryland Teaching Certificate with endorsements for Elementary Education Grades 1-6/Middle School and Administrator I. She has served on many county leadership committees throughout her tenure and has been a leader in the Destination Imagination team at the county and state levels.
“She has worked diligently with students, parents, and staff since her return to this area and East Salisbury Elementary School,” said Dr. Margo Handy, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Student Services.
Mrs. King is currently serving as the literacy coach for Wicomico Middle School; she has held that position since 2011. Prior to that, she was a third-grade teacher at Delmar Elementary for two years, and was named the 2010-2011 Wicomico Teacher of the Year. Earlier in her career she was a teacher at Pinehurst Elementary, and co-director of the East Salisbury School Family Center. A graduate of Wicomico High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Elementary Education, Child Development, and Learning from Salisbury University, and a Master of Education degree as a reading specialist from Salisbury University. She was one of five Wicomico educators selected by Superintendent Fredericksen for the Lower Eastern Shore School Leadership Institute (LESSLI), a prestigious three-year institute to prepare educators to become effective school leaders. She holds a Maryland Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate with Administrator I endorsement. Her professional experiences include Wicomico’s Reading Task Force, the Eastern Shore Literacy Assessment Committee, professional development presentations, Instructional Leadership Team co-chair, middle school curriculum development, and Wicomico Middle’s spelling bee coordinator. She has also served the school system as its online Q&A avatar.
“She is a product of Wicomico County Public Schools, and she has put her heart and soul into her career in Wicomico County Public Schools,” said Micah Stauffer, Director of Secondary Education.
Mr. Purnell is currently serving as dean of students of Parkside High, a position he has held since August 2013. He has presented professional development, facilitated instructional planning, and served as coordinator of the after-school program. A Parkside High graduate, he arrived at Parkside as a teacher in 2005 of Algebra, Algebra II and Advanced Placement Calculus. He was the Parkside Math Department chair from 2010-2013. He has been a member of Parkside’s Instructional Leadership Team, served as a representative to the Maryland Educator Effectiveness Academy, and taught at Evening High School, summer school, and Wicomico’s Saturday Bridge Academy. Before coming to Wicomico County Public Schools, he taught at Washington High School in Princess Anne, starting his teaching career there in 2004. Mr. Purnell received a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Secondary Education from Salisbury University, and earned a Master of Educational Leadership from SU. He holds a Maryland Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate in the areas of Mathematics, Administrator I, and Administrator II.
Dr. Handy characterized Mr. Purnell as the Energizer Bunny, always at school events in the evening and on weekends, and always building relationships with all students. She said she sometimes has to wonder, “When does he ever go home?”
Two positions were set earlier in this school year.
On July 1 Mrs. O’Barsky takes over as Parkside Assistant Principal with responsibility for CTE and other duties as assigned by the principal. She will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of longtime Parkside CTE Assistant Principal Dave Churchman. O’Barsky’s transfer to the Parkside position was announced in February. She is currently the assistant principal of West Salisbury Elementary, where she has served for the past three years. She received a bachelor’s degree in Biology Secondary Education and a Master of Education in Public School Administration from Salisbury University, and she holds certifications in nonprofit leadership, as a Maryland State Department of Education accreditation validator, and as a Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning trainer. Mrs. O’Barsky began her teaching career in Somerset County in 1998 as an 8th grade science teacher, and later entered Wicomico County Public Schools as a science teacher at Wicomico High. She was named Executive Director of the Talbot County early learning center, the Critchlow Adkins Children’s Center, and held the post for 10 years before returning to Wicomico Schools. She has been a task writer for state performance assessments and has written several grants that yielded funding during her time as an administrator.
In December, Dr. Bonnie Ennis was appointed Supervisor of School Improvement, Accountability and Strategic Planning. She has served since 2003 as the Coordinator of Mathematics, and has continued in that position while also working with current Supervisor of School Improvement/Strategic Planning Linda Stark to transition on July 1 into this key role for the school system. Ms. Stark will retire on June 30 after a 40-year career as an educator in Wicomico Schools. Dr. Ennis served as a new teacher mentor from 2000 to 2003, and as a classroom teacher in grades 4 through 6 from 1978 to 2000. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Salisbury University. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University. She currently holds a valid Maryland Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate including endorsements for Administrator I and Administrator II.