Two Gwinnett County elementary schools have new principals and one other school, the North Metro Academy of Performing Arts, learned it will get to keep its principal as it makes a key transition.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education approved the appointments of Monica Ball as the new principal of Graves Elementary school, Joe Sanfilippo as the new principal at Pharr Elementary School and Rodriguez Johnson as the principal at the North Metro Academy of Performing Arts on Thursday night.

Ball has worked in GCPS since 1994, when she was hired as a third-grade teacher at Cedar Hill Elementary School, a role she served in until 2004. She then served as a third-grade teacher and interrelated resource teacher at Winn Holt Elementary School until 2009; Winn Holt’s assistant principal until 2016; Rosebud Elementary School’s principal until 2020; and a principal on special assignment in GCPS’ Human Resources and Talent Management Office for the past year.

She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a focus in marketing from Clark College, a master’s degree in early childhood education from Brenau University and specialist’s degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Sanfilippo has worked in GCPS since 2006 after serving as a teaching assistant and after-care assistant director at Mount St. Joseph Academy in Buffalo, N.Y. from 2002 until 2005.

During his time with GCPS, he served as a 3rd and 5th Grade teacher at Corley Elementary School from 2006 until 2012; an instructional coach at Corley Elementary from 2012 until 2014; assistant principal at Hopkins Elementary School 2014 until 2015; an assistant principal form Graves Elementary School from 2015 until 2016; and an assistant principal again at Hopkins Elementary School from 2016 until Thursday.

He received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Medaille College, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix Online, a specialist’s degree in educational leadership from Georgia State University and doctoral degree in educational leadership from Georgia State.

Meanwhile, Johnson has been with GCPS since 2006, starting as a special education teacher at Five Forks Middle School from 2006 until 2012; an assistant principal at Simonton Elementary School from 2012 until 2014; and assistant principal at Knight Elementary School from 2014 until 2017

He has actually been the principal at the North Metro Academy of Performing Arts since 2017, but the school is transitioning from a charter school to a Gwinnett County Public Schools elementary theme school that is part of the Norcross cluster, prompting his re-appointment which allows him to continue leading the school during its transition.

Johnson received his bachelor’s degree in history from Tennessee State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Ohio State University and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Clark Atlanta University.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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