The next school year will bring some administrative changes to Flagler County schools: Nancy Willis, the current principal of Old Kings Elementary School, is leaving her post after tallying almost 50 years of experience in the district.
Robin Dupont, who is now the principal of Wadsworth Elementary School, will take Willis’ place. Replacing Dupont is John Fanelli, an assistant principal at Wadsworth.
The changes were announced to faculty and staff April 10. Superintendent Janet Valentine informed the public of the repositioning Tuesday at a regular meeting of the Flagler County School Board.
Fanelli got his start in the Flagler County School District as a student at Wadsworth Elementary 25 years ago. He has worked in education for 12 years, seven of which were spent as an assistant principal. He has been in his current position at Wadsworth for 2.5 years.
“You’ve been in the district for more years than Mrs. Willis, haven’t you?” School Board member Sue Dickinson said Tuesday, laughing.
Fanelli said in a phone interview that the appointment is an honor. He decided to pursue a career in education while he was in college and hasn’t looked back since.
“I’ve always liked going to school and being involved in school, so that’s where my career led me,” Fanelli said. “It’s been very rewarding over the years to see achievement in students and to help them learn and grow. And it’s really wonderful to see former students around town who are out in the community making a difference.”
He said he hopes to see Wadsworth’s extracurricular offerings expand in the future to give students more specialized options for pursuing their interests.
“I just want to make sure that we’re doing to best to meet the individual needs of every student, every day,” Fanelli said.
School employee a finalist for statewide award
For the first time, the Flagler County School District has an employee in the running for the statewide School Employee of the Year award.
Sue McVeigh, a parent specialist in the district’s Exception Student Education department, won the districtwide Employee of the Year award in January. She is one of five finalists and will be honored May 13 at an awards breakfast in Winter Haven.
School Board member John Fischer said he has worked with McVeigh on many occasions.
“This is very well-deserved,” he said.