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Changes afoot at Buckhead schools
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@neighbornewspapers.com
August 07, 2013 10:31 AM | 1768 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Students returning in the coming days to their respective schools in Buckhead and serving the area will see some changes this year, including new faces in administration, added programs and new facilities.

Two new principals will join the Galloway School this year. Polly Williams, former director of admissions, will become the new early learning principal and Sarah Armstrong, former middle learning assistant principal, will become the new middle learning principal.

A new coat of paint adorns the walls of Galloway’s front lobby, which was renovated over the summer, spokeswoman Melanie McNeely said.

“When the carpet was ripped up, we discovered 100-year-old heart pine floors in “good condition,” McNeely said. These original floors were refinished and now bridge the past and present of the school.”

At the Howard School, former high school principal Kim Papastavridis will become the school’s director of language and literacy. The new position will allow Papastvridis to oversee the school’s language programs.

Scott Hamilton, former director of learning services, will step into the high school principal role on an interim basis with the possibility of remaining in the position permanently, spokesman Jason Nimer said.

At Woodward Academy, construction is under way for a new upper school humanities building to house English, history and foreign language departments and is expected to be completed next fall. Woodward will also be piloting a Bring Your Own Device program for eighth-grade history and several upper school classes this year.

Preschool and lower school students at Holy Spirit Preparatory School will have brand new science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, labs.

“The Georgia Department of Education has been striving to develop STEM programs across the state and provide STEM certification to schools,” Holy Spirit spokesman Tim Durski said. “This is linked to that initiative.”

Whitefield Academy has seen major leadership changes in 2013, including the appointment of Kevin Bracher as headmaster in May after spending six years with the school. In July, Jason Van Bemmel became upper school principal and Michael Fernandes became academic dean.

Additionally, Whitefield purchased 80 acres of land with $375,000 raised during its biannual auction, laying the groundwork for its lower school expansion.

Pace Academy upper school students will attend classes in a temporary facility on the school’s rear practice field this year, as the $32 million Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School is under construction. The 75,000-square-foot facility will replace the recently demolished 52-year-old building and open in fall 2014.

At the Westminster Schools, Assistant Headmaster Jere Wells will assume leadership of the Glenn Institute for Philanthropy. Over the summer, Emilie Henry, who formerly served at Trinity School, was welcomed as the new vice president for institutional advancement.

Both Scott Hall and Malone Dining Hall have reopened after renovations and the Carlyle Fraser Library will undergo an expansion and renovation this year.

“The library’s new design will provide space to meet a variety of learning needs, including technology resources, areas for collaboration and quiet spaces for independent study,” Westminster spokeswoman Erin Dentmon said.

The Lovett School will also welcome several new administrators this year. The upper school will greet both Dan Alig as its new principal and Patrick Boswell as the dean of students. Joseph Moody will be the new middle school dean of students this fall.

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