Students at Brookside Middle, Heron Creek Middle, Emma E. Booker Elementary and Oak Park School can expect to see new faces on the first day of school.
With a new school year comes new faces to four schools in Sarasota County where new principals were appointed.
Two middle schools are trading principals in an effort to get the employees working closer to home, Superintendent Todd Bowden said in a press release. He hopes the exchange, between Brookside Middle and Heron Creek Middle, will help each principal be more active in their communities.
Brookside Middle is getting Matthew Gruhl, a Sarasota resident who holds degrees in education leadership, social science education, sociology and social studies teaching. He has worked as a social studies teacher, coach and high school assistant principal in Manatee and Pasco counties before coming to the Sarasota district in 2014.
While Gruhl said he will miss the community at Heron Creek Middle, “as a Sarasota resident, I am thrilled to be serving the students, faculty and community at Brookside. Go Cudo nation!”
Heron Creek Middle will be led this school year by Kristine Lawrence, who previously served as assistant principal there for five years.
At the elementary level, former Emma E. Booker Elementary principal Dawn Clayton will be moving to a new position at the district level as Supervisor of Pupil Support Services, Alternative Programs, Dropout Prevention and Discipline.
Her position will be filled by Edwina Oliver, formerly principal at Oak Park School. Oliver is also a Sarasota native, and has been a teacher as well as a faculty member who worked with students with disabilities.
During her time at Oak Park, Oliver focused on collaborating with the community to create an environment where students could be successful both academically and socially.
Jamie Lowicz was appointed as principal of Oak Park School, which serves students with special needs from pre-K to age 22. Lowicz has been an assistant principal at Sarasota High School since 2013, and was previously a teacher, a behavioral specialist and a social worker.