Alexander Passes Torch To New Superintendent And Principal

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Alexander Local Schools will be welcoming two new administrators for the upcoming school year.

It was announced earlier in the year that Alexander Local School District Supt. Jeff Cullum and Alexander Elementary Principal Nedra Zirkle would be retiring for the 2014-2015 school year.

The Alexander Local School District’s board officially recognized Zirkle’s retirement in April. She has spent more than 30 years in the district serving as both teacher and principal at the elementary school.

“The most rewarding part of my job as principal of Alexander Elementary has been working with so many wonderful staff members and parents to help children learn,” Zirkle said. “Throughout the 33.5 years I have worked here, I have been privileged to really get to know multiple generations of families and teachers. Together we have turned Alexander into an exemplary school.”

Zirkle’s retirement is set to go into effect June 30 and the new principal will be Melissa Guffey. Zirkle feels Guffey is “extremely talented and competent.” Guffey most recently served as assistant principal at Alexander Elementary.

Cullum was made superintendent of Alexander in January 2012 after spending 10 years as the elementary school’s principal.

“I have enjoyed working with all the various people who make up the school community including students, parents, staff, and community members,” Cullum said about his time as superintendent. “It has been rewarding to work with all of these people to help the district grow academically while staying within the ever narrowing financial boundaries.”

It was announced at the district’s April meeting that Lindy Douglas will be taking over as superintendent. Douglas is not unfamiliar with the district. She spent 15 years teaching in Alexander before becoming an assistant principal and later director of curriculum and testing for the Nelsonville-York district.

“She (Douglas) already knows many people in the community and is obviously very familiar with the district,” Cullum said. “I am sure her ‘homecoming’ will be great. I wish her the best of luck in the future.”

Guffey will begin her job as principal at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year and Douglas will begin Aug. 1. Cullum has regularly communicated with Douglas over the past several weeks to help prepare her for the job.