Tooele Junior High School started the new school year without its principal at the helm.
Larry Abraham, who has served as the principal of TJHS since April 2006, is on administrative leave, according to Scott Rogers, Tooele County School District superintendent.
While Abraham is still the principal, Hal Strain, the district’s director of secondary education who formerly served as principal of Clarke Johnsen Junior High School, has been appointed acting principal of TJHS for the moment, Rogers said.
“It is a confidential personnel or job performance matter which I can not discuss at this time,” he said. “No final decisions of any kind have been made.”
Abraham worked at schools in Montana and Idaho before he came to Tooele in 1999 to be the assistant principal at Tooele Junior High School. He held that position until April 2006 when he was appointed principal after Kendall Topham left TJHS to take over the reigns of Tooele High School.
The Utah Middle Level Association, a group of junior high and middle school administrators and teachers from throughout the state, honored Abraham with their Outstanding Middle Level Administrator of the Year in 2011.
Under Abraham’s leadership, TJHS was named a School to Watch in 2012 by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform.
Rogers announced several other new school administrators for the 2014-2015 school year.
Lori Buhr is the assistant principal of Tooele Junior High School. She previously taught at Settlement Canyon Elementary. Buhr replaces Cheryl Miller who was reassigned in May 2014 from assistant principal at Blue Peak High School to TJHS. Miller chose to retire this summer after 30 years in education.
Terri Chynoweth, a teacher at Rose Springs Elementary, was appointed the new administrative intern for Rose Springs and Stansbury Park Elementary Schools.
Linda Clegg, who just completed an administrative internship at Rose Springs and Stansbury Park Elementary schools, will be the new principal of Copper Canyon Elementary School.
Donna Goss, who worked as an administrative intern and counselor at Stansbury High School, will oversee federal programs in the district office.
The district’s new curriculum specialist for English language arts and social studies is Patricia Baldwin. She comes to Tooele County School District from New Jersey with over a dozen years in administration.
Baldwin served in her prior district as the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She replaces Lilian Maestas who retired after 32 years in education.
Brandee Mau, a German language teacher from Gillette, Wyoming, recently joined the district office staff as the new dual language immersion coordinator.
Other administrative personnel changes that were in effect as school opened today were announced in April and June. They include:
Bryce Eardley, who was the principal at Northlake Elementary School, is the principal at Blue Peak High School and the Community Learning Center.
Renee Milne, former assistant principal at Stansbury High School, is now the principal at Northlake Elementary School.
Kent Parsons, who was the assistant principal of Tooele Junior High School, moved to Stansbury High School as assistant principal.
Kendall Topham, who was the principal at Stansbury High School, moved to BPHS/CLC as the assistant principal.
Gailynn Warr left Settlement Canyon Elementary School where she was the principal and moved to SHS to take over as the school’s principal.
Jason Saari resigned his principal position at Wendover High School, and was assigned to be an instructional coach at Grantsville High School.
Clint Spindler, who was the principal of Copper Canyon Elementary School, replaced Saari at Wendover High School.
Betsy Swynenburg, former assistant principal of Tooele High School, took over as principal of Settlement Canyon Elementary School.
Jerri Sagers, a behavioral specialist with the district’s special education department, will replace Swynenburg at THS.