Kirk Wright is going home, in a way.
Kirk Wright, the new principal of North Harlem Elementary, once served as its assistant principal.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The former Evans Middle School principal was recently appointed as the new principal of North Harlem Elementary School, which is the first school he served in after moving to Georgia from Maryland.
"This gave me the opportunity to go back home, which is what I was trained to do - be an elementary principal," he said. "It was too good to pass up."
Wright served as an assistant principal at North Harlem under Lisa Soloff, who was recently promoted to director of elementary student learning. He is leaving Evans Middle after leading the school for 1 years.
"It's a great staff and great school," the 35-year-old husband and father of three said. "I enjoyed Evans Middle. I think Evans is a wonderful place, but there's something about North Harlem that draws you back there."
Earlier this month, North Harlem Elementary was removed from the state's dreaded Needs Improvement list. As part of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, schools are labeled as needing improvement if they fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress in the same category for two straight years. A school is removed from the list after showing progress in the same area for two consecutive years. North Harlem Elementary was on the list for poor attendance rates.
The spirit of accomplishment at North Harlem Elementary for coming off the list is something Wright said he hopes to build on.
"The biggest challenge for me is to make sure that positive momentum is maintained," he said. "Coming off the list is a huge achievement for that school."
Still, the 13-year educator said he'll continue looking for ways to make the school better.
"I think you can always improve," he said. "When you come in as a new principal, you have your own ways of putting your thumbprint on a school.
"What I want to do is work with the leadership team, the teachers and continue the great programs Lisa has put in place."
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