Flagler Schools Superintendent James Tager has tapped Matanzas High School Principal Earl Johnson to become the District’s Executive Director of Leadership Development, filling the position vacated by Vernon Orndorff.
It was one of three appointments in Tager’s first week on the job, though it fills a key position that drew attention when Orndorff first applied to be superintendent, then took a job in Texas before the interview round. By appointing from within, Tager is signaling that he will look at Flagler’s ranks first in promoting administrators, before drawing from outside. He did likewise with two additional appointments.
Tager selected John Fanelli as principal of Buddy Taylor Middle School, essentially continuing Fanelli’s leadership development track that is likely to see him in a leadership role at a high school in a few years and, judging from similar trajectories in the past, to the district office.
It also means that the district is searching for new principals at Matanzas and Wadsworth.
At Buddy Taylor, Fanelli takes over for Nathan Lovelette, who begins his new position as director of the i3 New Tech Academy, the virtual school, on the campus of Flagler Palm Coast High School. “I fully believe in the vision of the New Tech Network and will continue to promote teaching that engages, culture that empowers, outcomes that matter and technology that enables,” Lovelette was quoted as saying in a release the district issued this morning, announcing the job changes. Lovelette’s new salary will be $87,000.
Johnson termed himself “blessed” the be selected for the leadership development post. “I know there is a great team ready to work with me as I transition into this new role. I am looking forward to this new chapter of my career,” he said. Johnson began his career in education in Volusia County, where he spent 26 years as a teacher and administrator. He came to Flagler Schools in 2015 to lead Matanzas High School. He was recently selected as a finalist for the State Principal of the Year. His salary in his new position will be $107,420.
Fanelli, a product of Flagler schools, has been principal of Wadsworth Elementary School for the past five years. Fanelli is a product of Flagler Schools and an alumni of Belle Terre Middle School (when the actual Buddy Taylor, namesake of the school, was principal). In 2015 he was named Flagler Schools Principal of the Year. “I’m a proud Eagle, coming home to nest,” Fanelli said of his new job, where he’ll earn a base salary of $91,648.
“Each of these educators has excelled where they were and I expect they will take that same passion and professionalism they exhibited in the prior positions and bring it to their new posts,” Tager said of his appointments.
Beverly Taylor says
Dr. Johnson will certainly be missed at Matanza but a wonderful choice as he demonstrates the skills, knowledge and commitment to his students, staff and community. We will certainly miss his presence at Matanza but are very happy for his promotion. Congratulations, Dr. Johnson! You so deserve this!
Patrick Williams says
Congrats Dr. Johnson….you will be great in the new position…
Flagler Mom says
It would be nice to see Ken Seybold take over at Matanzas. He’s done the lion’s share of the work for quite some time now and he has earned the right to be the man in charge.
Let’s hope BY ME finally gets the leadership they deserve. These kids need a caring, strong, compassionate leader. Here’s hoping for a better 2017-18 school year for everyone.
Fat Boy says
I agree with Flagler Mom. Ken Seybold has been carrying Matanzas High School for years.
I am happy for Dr. Johnson but so sad to see him leave Matanzas. He truly was what we needed there. He will be greatly missed as principal.
Congrats to Dr. Johnson but he will truly be missed. He really had MHS pointed in the right direction after the final few years of Dr. Pryors administration. Pryor stopped caring about the staff his last few years, proved by the near 30+ teachers that decided to leave the school in the last couple years of Pryors reign. Johnson did a wonderful job stabilizing things and we can only hope his successor will continue to do the same.
Joan Whittemore says
John Fanelli will no doubt be a wonderful asset to the Buddy Taylor School. He will be dearly missed by the families and staff at Wadsworth however.