Gros has been named permanent, not acting, principal of Stuart, says Fairfax County Public Schools spokesperson John Torre.
An April 15 message from Calhoun to Stuart families says she is leaving immediately “to accept another position with FCPS” and will “work with the FCPS administrative team in the Department of Instructional Services.”
An FCPS employee reports that Calhoun is being “warehoused” to a new position created for her in the human resources office and is keeping her salary. According to FCPS records, Calhoun’s salary in 2012 was nearly $129,000.
Gros informed the Glasgow community of her new position on April 15. Region 2 “Assistant Superintendent Fabio Zuluaga will announce an “acting principal” for Glasgow tomorrow,” Gros told parents.
“I had the opportunity to provide input in the selection of our school’s acting principal and I am confident this individual will bring exceptional leadership skills to Glasgow ensuring a smooth transition,” she wrote. “Dr. Zuluaga and the Region 2 Office will put an aggressive timeline in place to start the search for our new principal at Glasgow. The goal is to have a new leader in place before the end of the school year.”
Parents in the Stuart community and members of the faculty had expressed a great deal of frustration with Calhoun’s leadership during the past couple of years. Among the problems: low teacher morale, low scores on an FCPS survey of working conditions, and poorly enforced student discipline.
FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza responded in June 2014 by appointing a full-time mentor/coach to the Stuart leadership team, bringing back acclaimed assistant principal Shawn DeRose, and providing additional expertise to develop a master schedule for the school.
The PTA had scheduled a meeting with Garza for April 22 “to address parent concerns and share her vision for the school.” That meeting had been scheduled before the personnel changes were announced. Now the meeting will include a “meet and greet” with Gros.
Several Stuart parents contacted by the Annandale Blog said they thought Calhoun was in over her head. When she was appointed principal of Stuart in July 2012, she had never been a principal before. Her previous position was assistant principal at Herndon High School.
As one parent put it: “I feel bad for Calhoun. I don’t think this was all her fault. She was in over her head.” Gros, on the other hand, has a solid reputation among the Glasgow community.
“FCPS remains fully committed in support of the administrators, teachers, and students at Stuart High School, including the structures currently in place to support student achievement,” states a message from Garza to Stuart families. “Although change always brings uncertainty, we are working to ensure that this will be a smooth transition.”
“Ms. Gros strongly believes in building relationships with parents and community members and creating a welcoming school environment for all,” Garza states. “She is eager to work with the highly skilled and dedicated staff at Stuart and is committed to strengthening the school’s culture through collaboration, communication, and a strong team approach.”
Gros says she is “looking forward to my new challenge at Stuart, but I will always stay connected in many ways and at many levels with the Glasgow community. After all, the Stuart High School experience is the culminating event of an incredible journey for our K-12 students in the Stuart pyramid.”