Van Buren principal promoted; new leader sought

Van Buren Elementary is in the market for a new principal, a week and a half before the start of the school year.

Principal Christy Wrightsman has been promoted to a new job in Brown County Schools, District Readiness Coordinator, Superintendent Laura Hammack told Van Buren parents by email tonight.

The job came about through a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., through the Regional Opportunities Initiative Inc. “It should be noted that this position will be fully funded by the dollars realized through the ROI grant,” Hammack’s message said.

“We look forward to working with Mrs. Wrightsman as we engage in a design thinking process to better align school district curricular and programmatic offerings with the education and workforce needs of our community.”

The search process for a new principal will include two meetings on Friday, Aug. 4, one for teachers and staff and one for parents. In both meetings, participants will be asked for “collaborative input on the characteristics and qualities that you would like to see in your new principal,” Hammack said.

Teachers and staff will meet at 2 p.m. at the school cafeteria. Van Buren families are invited to a meeting at 5 p.m.

Next, Hammack plans to assemble an interview team including representatives from the Brown County Educators Association and Van Buren parents. The PTO will help identify which parents will serve, her email said.

Interviews for the principal job are expected to happen the week of Aug. 7, and Hammack said she expects a new principal will be named by Monday, Aug. 14.

The first day of school for students is Wednesday, Aug. 9.

Hammack said Wrightsman has agreed to continue her responsibilities as principal until her successor is named.

Another district administrator also is stepping down, according to the school board agenda for July 6. Brown County High School Assistant Principal Angie Evans is listed under “separations,” effective today.

This story will be updated.

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Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.