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University Prep selects North Carolina educator as new principal



It looks like University Prep is set to hire a new principal: Darius Adamson, a school transformation coach from North Carolina.

The new St. Pete charter school's governing board is in contract negotiations with Adamson, said Doug Tuthill, chairman of University Prep's local advisory board.

"We picked him because he was very solid in terms of his performance with kids similar to this population," Tuthill tells The Gradebook. "He's been able to create high-performing schools in many different situations."

Adamson is a founding partner of The Solomon Group, a Charlotte-based incorporation that "improves academic achievement by assisting states, districts, and schools in developing, implementing, and evaluating effective strategies."

According to his website bio, Adamson works as a school transformation coach for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Previously, he was the managing director for high school turnaround for the Academy of Urban School Leadership. He also supervised the turnaround process for struggling Chicago and North Carolina schools, and has been the principal at multiple turnaround schools.

Nehemiah Thomas, University Prep's assistant principal, had also been a finalist for the position. Tuthill said he expected Thomas to stay on.

Tuthill did not know how much of a salary was offered to Adamson, but said contract negotiations were hinging on staffing. "I think he was making sure he had enough administrative support for the rest of the school year," Tuthill said.

Cheri Shannon, the executive director of the nonprofit behind University Prep, unexpectedly became the school's principal amid a time-crunch between the school's approval and its opening in August. She will likely serve through the end of the semester, then be replaced by Adamson.

[Last modified: Monday, December 16, 2013 3:07pm]


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