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Five Elementaries Start Year with New Assistant Principals

assistant principalsFive Kalamazoo Public Schools elementary schools will be welcoming assistant principals this fall. 

King-Westwood, Parkwood-Upjohn, Prairie Ridge and Winchell elementary schools and Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts are receiving the new administrators thanks to the federal American Rescue Plan, which includes $122 billion to help schools deal with the after effects of the Covid pandemic. 

Below are short biographies of each assistant principal. 

Charles Green will be joining Prairie Ridge Elementary school this fall. He will be an assistant principal and work with Principal Joletta Drake. Green has attended Central Michigan University since 2010, earning a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a master of arts in higher education administration. He will complete an educational specialist degree in general educational leadership in 2023. 

Green has been a fourth-grade teacher with Saginaw Public Schools. Last summer, he served as the Summer School Camp Lead Administrator responsible for three elementary schools. Green is the co-chair of the School Improvement Team (SIT) at Merrill Park Elementary and has been on the SIT three years. He is also a King-Chavez-Parks Future Faculty Fellow at Central Michigan University. 

Glenda Jones will be joining the staff at Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts as its new assistant principal in the fall. She will work with Principal Linda Mitchell. 

Jones has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Illinois State University and a master of arts degree in general administration from Chicago State University. She has most recently served as a special education teacher at Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary School. 

Before coming to Kalamazoo, she worked in the Chicago area for 24 years: 20 years in Chicago Public Schools as an elementary special education teacher, a general education teacher, principal and director of special education for Camelot Education Alternative Schools; and four years in the Cook County School District 130 in Blue Island, Ill., as a special education administrator and pupil personnel service coordinator. 

Tammo Nelson will be the assistant principal at Winchell Elementary School in the fall. Nelson earned a bachelor of science degree from Central Michigan University in elementary education and a master of science degree in principalship from Saginaw Valley State University. 

She has worked as a district culture and climate coach for KPS and was a School Improvement Grant (SIG) Math Interventionist at Northeastern Elementary School for three years. Before coming to KPS, she worked in Saginaw Public Schools for 15 years as an elementary teacher, math interventionist, and summer school principal. She has served on the School Improvement Team in all buildings she worked in, and has been on the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Child Study teams in her schools. 

Sierra Prather will serve as the assistant principal at Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary school. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and a master of arts degree in instructional leadership from Western Michigan University. 

Prather has worked as a Kalamazoo Public Schools teacher for 14 years at Woods Lake Elementary School. She served on the School Improvement Team, was the Grade Level Facilitator, the Upper Elementary Science Lead teacher, substituted during principal absences and organized the promotion ceremony for fifth-grade students. In addition, she has organized the school basketball and cheer teams and served as a mentor for pre-intern teachers. 

Erika Zavasky will be the assistant principal at King-Westwood Elementary School, working with principal Dwight Quinn. 

Zavasky earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and Spanish; and a master’s degree in educational leadership at Western Michigan University. Most recently, she served as the culture and climate coach at Hillside Middle School, prior to that she taught for 14 years at Edison Academy, and she started her career in KPS as a paraprofessional. 

She has been a mentor teacher, High Impact Leadership team member, Safe and Civil Schools Foundations Team chair and served on the School Improvement Team at Edison.

Cutline, clockwise from top left: Tammo Nelson, Erica Zavasky, Glenda Jones, Sierra Prather, Charles Green.