Three schools in Kinston will have new principals for the new school year after action Thursday night by the Lenoir County Board of Education.
Kellan Bryant, who was named Principal of the Year this past spring for her work at Banks Elementary School, was named the new principal at Kinston High School; Dr. Janet Blaebaum, a longtime assistant principal at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, was appointed principal at Southeast Elementary School; and Felicia Solomon, principal at Northeast Elementary last school year, will move to Rochelle Middle School.
Bryant steps into the position that Brian Corey left earlier this month to become the district’s testing and accountability coordinator. Blaebaum replaces Nakia McCall, who resigned in June to take a position in the private sector as an educational consultant. Solomon takes over for Kecia Dunn, who was reassigned as an assistant principal at Kinston High.
Michael Moon, an assistant principal at Kinston High, was reassigned as assistant principal at Contentnea-Savannah, the position formerly held by Blaebaum.
The personnel changes approved by the school board are effective July 1, “with appropriate time for transition since we’re so close” to that date, Superintendent Brent Williams said.
The search for new principals at Banks and Northeast elementary schools will begin immediately, according to Williams, who said he hoped to submit candidates for board approval in August. In the interim, Christel Carlyle, who was a principal fellow at Banks last school year, will serve as principal there. No announcement of an interim position at Northeast was made.
The school board’s Thursday night meeting served as its regular meeting for July, held early in order to meet the deadline for budget votes prior to the June 30 end of the fiscal year.
Kinston High’s new principal will be traversing familiar terrain. Bryant was an assistant principal at KHS in 2014 and 2015, and her father, Craig Hill, is a former principal and coach at the school.
She joined LCPS in 2006 when she became an exceptional children’s teacher at Banks. She taught there for six years before moving into administration as a principal intern, staying at Banks until 2014. She returned to Banks as principal in 2015.
Dr. Blaebaum started with LCPS in 2003 as a fifth-grade teacher at J.H. Sampson School and also taught at C.H. Bynum School. She served as assistant principal at both Contentnea Elementary and Southeast Elementary before moving to the merged Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School as assistant principal in 2008.
Solomon came to Northeast Elementary from Charity Middle School in Duplin County, where she was assistant principal for two years. A Kinston resident, she had previously worked for 12 years with LCPS as a teacher, an assistant and, for five years, as principal of Southeast Elementary.