J.M. Alexander Middle and Torrence Creek Elementary schools will have new principals next school year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials announced this week.
Davidson IB Middle School Principal Jo Karney will take over as principal at J.M. Alexander, replacing Principal Joanna Smith. Karney will move into the 12201 Hambright Road school in Huntersville along with the Davidson IB program, which includes more than 250 students in sixth through eighth grade.
The International Baccalaureate program, currently housed on South Street in Davidson, was slated to move to Alexander following the Board of Education’s vote Nov. 9, as the South Street building is in need of expensive repairs and the Alexander facility is under-utilized.
Karney meets weekly with Smith and is working on putting together a “transition team” consisting of parents at both schools.
“We want to create a common mission and vision together,” she said. “I want input from all stakeholders.”
Karney said she’s heard good feedback from teachers about the move from the deteriorating Davidson IB building to the new Alexander classrooms. Currently, many share classrooms because of limited space at the Davidson facility.
“The teachers are all super positive and excited,” Karney said.
Karney also met with Alexander staff last Thursday and plans to seek input from students moving forward, possibly by way of a school-wide survey.
In addition to getting input, Karney hopes to get students at both schools interacting through joint activities before the end of this school year. For example, she would like to invite the Alexander students to participate in Davidson IB’s Walk for Darfur in April.
And although she will be talking over in a new building, Karney will see many familiar faces in the halls.
She served as principal at Blythe Elementary from 2003 to 2007, which means that her Blythe first-, second- and third-grade students will be her Alexander sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
“I can’t wait,” she said.