Administrative changes for Mentor Schools 2015-2016 school year
June 10, 2015 – Mentor Schools welcomes several new administrators to the district for the 2015-2016 school year. While the district has cut one administrative position from the budget for the start of next school year, retirements and other movement still opened several positions, which the district has filled with highly qualified educators.

Beginning at the elementary school level, Mentor Schools welcomes Marc Kaminicki, Melanie Pearn, and Jacqueline Sturm to the district as the principals of Garfield, Fairfax, and Sterling Morton, respectively. They will fill the positions of Garfield’s principal Janice Price and Sterling Morton’s Christine Bergant, who are retiring, and Fairfax’s principal Christine Kryz, who is moving to the administration building in the role of Special Education supervisor. Mrs. Kryz fills the vacancy left by Linda Elegante, who has accepted a Director of Student Services position with Chardon Schools.

Mr. Marc Kaminicki joins Mentor Schools as the principal of Garfield Elementary School from Mayfield Schools, where he has been working as an assistant principal at Center Elementary School. Prior to his administrative experience, Mr. Kaminicki served as a guidance counselor at both the elementary and high school levels and as an English teacher.

Ms. Melanie Pearn will take the role of Fairfax Elementary School principal, beginning this August. Ms. Pearn joins our district with several years of administrative experience from Riverside Schools. She spent the last five years working as the Madison Avenue Elementary School principal, and prior to that served as a high school associate principal. Ms. Pearn began her career teaching English and journalism in Twinsburg Schools.

Mrs. Jacqueline Sturm joins our team as principal of Sterling Morton Elementary. Mrs. Sturm comes to Mentor Schools from Euclid Schools, where she has worked as an assistant principal of Chardon Hills Elementary for the last three years. Mrs. Sturm also had the opportunity to serve as an interim elementary school principal and throughout her career has taught all subject areas in grades two through five.

At the middle school level, Ericka Blackburn joins Mentor Schools to serve as Ridge Middle School’s new principal, and Tommy Dwyer will become Ridge’s assistant principal. They will fill the roles of Megan Kinsey and Pat McKenrick, as Mrs. Kinsey leaves us to pursue an opportunity with Apple’s education team and Mr. McKenrick enters retirement.

Mrs. Blackburn is returning to the Mentor Schools team with administrative experience. She began her career as a technology teacher and spent her first six years in Mentor Schools teaching at both Ridge Middle School and Mentor High School. After that, she continued teaching technology in Willoughby-Eastlake Schools before becoming the assistant principal of Willoughby South High School.

Mr. Dwyer has been an exceptional teacher at Ridge Middle School and took a natural leadership role in the implementation of blended learning and the 1:1 rollout. He has been an active participant in our Aspiring Administrators program at Mentor Schools. Mr. Dwyer is a perfect fit for moving into the assistant principal role to help keep continuity and momentum at Ridge.

At the high school level, as we announced in February, Ryan McKnight will join the Mentor High School administrative team as the Unit 10 principal. He fills the vacancy left by John Diamond’s retirement. Mr. McKnight comes to us from Perry Schools, where he has spent the last two years as the assistant principal of Perry High School. Prior to that, he worked as a teacher in Willoughby-Eastlake and Euclid school districts. Also worth mentioning, Mr. McKnight is a proud graduate of Mentor High School.

Additionally, at the middle school level, Memorial’s assistant principal Mr. Tom Grodek has accepted an assistant principal position at Bay Middle School in Bay Village Schools, and his replacement will be announced at a later date. Our district’s testing coordinator and curriculum specialist Pam Ferrell will also be leaving us for retirement. Her replacement has not yet been named.

Mentor Schools greatly appreciates the hard work and dedication of all of our outgoing administrators and we wish them well in their future endeavors. We look forward to continuing to provide a high quality education for the students of Mentor Schools and welcome the new members to our team. Their broad experiences and enthusiasm for education will be a great fit for our community.

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