Former high school principal transfers to middle school

Michael Zinn

Michael Zinn

SUGAR HILL — A Gwinnett high school principal who requested a transfer within the district on the second week of the school year has landed at a middle school.

Michael Zinn, who entered his second year as Berkmar High’s principal this school year, left the school for what he and Gwinnett County Public Schools officials said was personal reasons, and is now at Lanier Middle as an assistant principal, Jorge Gomez, GCPS’ executive director of administration and policy, said on Monday.

It was announced on the sixth day of the school year that Zinn would transfer, 15 months after the district announced he would lead the school.

Zinn declined to elaborate on his reasons for leaving Berkmar High. He was reached by phone earlier this week, but asked to speak at a later time. The following day he didn’t return a phone message, but wrote in another email on Wednesday, “Thank you for your interest in this situation. I would like to share that I am proud of what we accomplished at Berkmar High last year and am looking forward to contributing to the Lanier Middle team.”

In a letter to students and their families at Berkmar, Zinn wrote that he, “made a very difficult decision to take another position with less responsibility in Gwinnett County.”

“Last year was a fantastic year,” Zinn wrote. “We made gains on most of our test score indicators and our extracurricular programs experienced a lot of success.”

Interim principal Jane Stegall replaced Zinn at Berkmar. District spokesman Jorge Quintana said he wasn’t sure when a permanent replacement would be announced, but that the process typically doesn’t extend into the next school year.

“The climate of Berkmar is very positive as we begin this year and I am confident that the wonderful Berkmar faculty will continue this positive momentum,” Zinn wrote in the letter.

Zinn previously was an an assistant principal at Archer High from 2010-2012.

Zinn began his teaching career in Bartow County and was also an administrator in Oconee County. He holds degrees from the Art Institute of Atlanta, Kennesaw State University, Georgia State University and Walden University.

He replaced Ken Johnson, who left for Archer after serving as Berkmar’s principal from 2004-2012.