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Berkmar Middle to start year with interim principal

Jim Curtiss, who retired and waved goodbye to students at Winn Holt Elementary in May, will return to school as an interim principal at Berkmar Middle following the departure of Principal Jose DeJesus. (File photo)

Jim Curtiss, who retired and waved goodbye to students at Winn Holt Elementary in May, will return to school as an interim principal at Berkmar Middle following the departure of Principal Jose DeJesus. (File photo)

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Jose DeJesus

LILBURN — Jim Curtiss has pressed the pause button on retirement.

The former Winn Holt Elementary principal will be the interim principal at Berkmar Middle following the departure of Jose DeJesus to a school district in Florida. DeJesus had led Berkmar Middle since September when he was appointed to replace Kenney Wells, who went to work in the district’s Human Resources department.

DeJesus had worked in Gwinnett County Public Schools since 2005 as an assistant principal at Berkmar High and Berkeley Lake Elementary, and also a principal at Beaver Ridge Elementary before he moved to Berkmar Middle.

DeJesus had previously worked as a math teacher in Broward County, Fla. and as a teacher and administrator in Palm Beach County, Fla. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1981-92.

Curtiss returns to school after he announced his retirement and waved goodbye to students on the last day of school at Winn Holt in May. Curtiss opened the Lawrenceville school in 2004, and has worked in education for 42 years, including 32 with GCPS.

Curtiss also was principal at Grayson Elementary for eight years and was named one of Georgia’s Outstanding Principals by the state Parent Teacher Association in 2006.

Curtiss will serve at Berkmar Middle until a new principal is approved by the Gwinnett County Board of Education.

The second new principal appointment at Berkmar Middle means 30 people have been named principals at Gwinnett schools since the start of the 2013-14 school year. That number includes nine principals that will begin the year new to their schools, including Keith Thompson at the new Northbrook Middle in Suwanee and Burrell Pope at the new North Metro Performing Arts charter school in Norcross.