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Many CMSD schools have new principals

CMSD students are seeing a lot of new faces this school year .

New principals are leading 28 schools, more than a fourth of the District. Many building administrators are new to CMSD -- 12 of the principal’s vacancies, as well as 14 of 32 openings for assistant principals, were filled with external candidates.

“Leadership matters and great leaders make great schools,” Chief Academic Officer Michelle Pierre-Farid said. “We are excited to add these strong leaders to our already awesome talent in CMSD.”

Turnover was high partly because of tougher standards set for all employees. The District let go 17 principals last year.

The District kept diversity in mind when making the new appointments.

More than two-thirds of the new principals and 59 percent of the assistants are African-American.

Last year, the District had 163 principals, assistant principals and curriculum instruction specialists (supervisors who evaluate teachers and are required to have a principal’s certificate), 60 percent of whom were black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander or multiracial.

“It was a priority this year and will continue to be a priority,” said Brianna Savoca Koehler, director of talent acquisition. “It is important to find people who represent the students and community we serve.”

The District also added 212 teachers, with the majority of those openings created by retirements. CMSD has 2,800 teachers.

Bracing for a wave of retirements, CMSD launched the Teach Cleveland recruiting campaign with the help of TNTP, formerly The New Teacher Project. The District received 1,500 applications.

The District hired 36 teachers through Teach for America, which recruits and trains candidates from alternative fields of study and professions. Last year, CMSD hired 19 TFA teachers last year, though two later left.