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January 2, 2013

West Elem. principal transfers to central office

CULLMAN — After spending the past two years as principal of West Elementary School, Helen Dunn will move to the central office in 2013 as Cullman City Schools’ new Federal Programs/Career Technical Coordinator.

The coordinator position was created in late 2012, and Dunn has previous experience dealing with federal programs from her time as principal and previous central office responsibilities.

“I am excited and do have some experience with federal programs and feel like I can be a benefit there,” Dunn said. “It was a really hard decision because I just love West and everyone there. But I’m looking forward to my new role.”

Dunn took over at West Elementary in 2011, when then-principal Dr. Elton Bouldin moved to the same position at Cullman High School. Dunn had previously served as principal at Susan Moore Elementary in Blount County, and worked in the city system as a curriculum coach before that.

The school board approved the transfer at a recent December meeting, and Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris said she’s excited to see what Dunn can do in the role.

“The thing about Helen Dunn is, she’s a tremendous asset wherever she is,” Harris said. “We were so saddened when she left to be principal at Susan Moore, and were so delighted when we got her back. I was delighted when she applied for the coordinator position, because having her on our team is tremendous for Cullman City Schools. I hate it for West Elementary, but I know she’ll be a great help at the central office.”

More than half of the coordinator position will be funded federally, with the remaining portion paid by local funds. The system had previous contracted for career tech services.

“We felt we really needed a full-time person in that role now,” Harris said. “Monumental changes are coming at the state and federal level and I think this will be beneficial for our students to have a clearer focus on those duties, instead of a fragmented approach.”

The transfer will not take effect until February 1, and Harris said the board will spend January searching for a new principal to take the reins at the elementary school.

“She’ll be there holding down the fort while we post and form a committee of stakeholders from West Elementary to start looking,” Harris said. “Our goal is to make a recommendation at the January board meeting, but if it needs to stretch out a little longer that’s not a problem.”

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