Gwen Perkins will step down as Crownover Middle School principal at the end of the semester and become a Denton school district’s director of professional personnel.
She was officially hired as a director in April.
Perkins has worked for the school district the last seven years and has led Crownover Middle School since the 2009-10 school year.
“It is an exciting opportunity to be named as the director of professional personnel,” Perkins said.
She said she’s happy to have the opportunity to help the Denton school district become one of Texas’ premiere school districts.
Perkins said it’s bittersweet leaving her campus role and the students and moving to a central administration position but feels her experience at the campus level will benefit her in the new role.
She said she never wants it to be said that she’s “moving to the other side” and that she wants to recruit, hire and retain the most talented people for Denton schoolchildren. Perkins said the real work happens at the campus, and the district’s decisions should be about supporting the campus level and students.
“I want the most talented people to come and work in Denton ISD,” Perkins said. “With us being such a fast-growth district we’ve got to hit the ground running.”
Sharon Cox, district spokeswoman, said Perkins will be overseeing the hiring and staffing of professional personnel. Currently, the school district employs more than 2,200 professional personnel including teachers, administrators, librarians, diagnosticians, counselors and nurses, Cox said.
Perkins, she said, will be responsible for maintaining laws, certifications, regulations, policies and procedures relating to professional personnel.
There were nearly 80 applicants for the director of professional personnel, said Richard Valenta, assistant superintendent for human resources. Applications were reviewed and the pool was narrowed to six individuals.
Perkins’ experience as an administrator made her a standout and having a fresh perspective of what goes on at the campus level is going to be “paramount,” Valenta said.
“Her experience as an assistant principal and as a principal is going to be very important to this position because she’s going to be serving principals on a daily basis,” he said. “Her loyalty and love for Denton ISD stood out above the other candidates.
“Those are probably the two things that were instrumental.”
Recently, human resources realigned roles within the department — three directors are designated for elementary professional personnel, secondary professional personnel and auxiliary/paraprofessional staff. Valenta said Perkins will serve as director of professional personnel for elementary staff. Robert Stewart will remain director of professional personnel for secondary schools and Regina Wright serves as director of auxiliary/paraprofessional staff.
Since February, Cox said David Bach has served in a temporary role as interim director of elementary professional staff and the evaluation and appraisal system.
Perkins said to attract the most talented individuals, the district will have to continually evaluate and ensure salaries, compensation packages, professional development and support for staff is competitive. She said she doesn’t want any one beating Denton at hiring the most talented staff.
According to district officials, Perkins has more than 10 years of administrative experience. Throughout her educational career, she’s served as associate principal at Denton High School, a high school assistant principal with the Keller school district and a high school teacher and coordinator. Perkins has a bachelor’s degree in business education from Louisiana Tech University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy from the University of Texas at Arlington and she’s currently pursuing a doctorate degree in applied technology at the University of North Texas.
Cox said the district is accepting applications to fill Perkins’ position as principal at Crownover Middle School through May 10. As of Wednesday, nearly 100 individuals had applied, she said. It’s expected a new principal will be named at Crownover by the end of the semester, Cox said.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.