Seven Springs Middle principal resigns, prompting leadership shuffle
For the second time in three years, Phil Kupczyk has resigned a school leadership post in the Pasco school district, prompting a round of principal shuffling. Chris Dunning, who opened Paul R. Smith Middle in Holiday six years ago, will transfer to Seven Springs, with the Smith Middle job to be advertised.
Kupczyk announced late Friday that he will leave the principalship at Seven Springs Middle, a post he accepted in May 2011. Kupczyk came to Seven Springs after taking a leave, having resigned the top job at Hudson Middle School in 2010 a year into it. He will remain in the district as a math teacher.
"We completely support his decision," Beth Brown, executive director for secondary education, said of Kupczyk's move for what she termed "personal" reasons. "We know it's the best decision for him."
Brown said the selection of Dunning, 40, who had his first principalship at 27 and also worked in the district offices for several years, made sense.
"We definitely need an experienced principal to go to Seven Springs," she said. "And Paul R. Smith is in great shape" for whoever follows Dunning.
Dunning said he was surprised when informed late Thursday about his new position, but was willing to do what it takes to help the district that has been good to him and his career. He lives in the Seven Springs attendance zone, is active in the community and will have two children at the school next year.
"This is great for my family," said Dunning, who applied for the Pinellas superintendency and had been seen as someone who might look for the top jobs in Manatee and Hernando counties. "I'm happy to stay there (at Seven Springs) for quite some time."
Kupczyk's last day on the job is today. Dunning is to take over next week Wednesday. During the transition, assistant principal Tracy Beerman will act as Seven Springs principal. Then the two assistant principals at Paul R. Smith will take charge while awaiting a permanent replacement.