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School board names principals for eight schools

SUWANEE - The Gwinnett County Board of Education has named the principals for seven elementary schools and the school district's charter school.

The following appointment is effective immediately:

· Banks Bitterman is now the principal of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology. The former wrestling coach opened the school last year as the dean of academics. Because it shares a campus with Duluth High School, Pat Blenke was serving as principal of both schools.

Bitterman, a former businessman, began his education career in 2000 in Bowden. He worked for Brookwood High from 2002 to 2007.

The following appointment is effective April 1:

· Audrey Baptiste, an assistant principal at J.C. Magill Elementary, will soon lead Partee Elementary. Interim Principal Donna Lee will be working alongside Baptiste through the end of the school year. Partee's former principal, Lisa Harvin, resigned in mid-January for personal and family reasons.

Baptiste is a 2007 graduate of the school district's Quality-Plus Leader Academy. As an educator, she worked in Doraville and Decatur before coming to Gwinnett in 2006.

The following appointments are effective June 1:

· Donna Bishop, who is currently a principal in Monroe, will come to Gwinnett this summer to lead W.J. Cooper Elementary. She is replacing Phil Epperson, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Bishop has been a principal for eight years. She has also worked as an assistant principal in Athens and taught at several elementary schools in Georgia and Louisiana.

· Angie Wright, an assistant principal at Louise Radloff Middle School, will transfer to Craig Elementary to lead the school. She is replacing Mary Ray, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Wright, a 2007 graduate of the Quality-Plus Leader Academy, has worked for Gwinnett County Public Schools since 2003. She also taught in Doraville.

· Valerie Robinett, an assistant principal at Ivy Creek Elementary, will take over this summer at Mountain Park Elementary. She is replacing the retiring principal, Debbie Allred.

Robinett, a 2007 graduate of the Quality-Plus Leader Academy, has worked for the school district since 1998.

· Doris Jones, an assistant principal at Dacula Middle, will be the new principal at W.C. Britt Elementary. She is replacing Beverly Todd-Lee, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Jones, a 2007 graduate of the Quality-Plus Leader Academy, has worked for the school district since 1986. She also taught at Old Suwanee Christian School from 1984 to 1986 and at Dacula Middle from 1977 to 1978.

The following appointments are effective July 1:

· Tarsha Chambers, who is currently an assistant principal at Snellville Middle, has been chosen to open and lead Rosebud Elementary, a new school opening in August in Loganville.

Chambers, a 2007 graduate of the Quality-Plus Leader Academy, worked in Mississippi before coming to Gwinnett in 2003.

· Leigh Westcott, who is currently the principal at Berkeley Lake Elementary, will transfer to R.D. Head Elementary July 1, as the school's current principal, Michelle Farmer, is leaving to open the new Puckett's Mill Elementary.

Westcott has worked for the school district since 1980.