New principals named for 2018-19 school year
TAVARES – As the district prepares for the new academic year, which begins Aug. 13 for students, many schools are doing so under the guidance of new leadership. Superintendent Diane Kornegay has announced several administrative appointments in recent weeks.
The newly appointed principals are as follows:
- Tracy Clark has been appointed the new principal at Eustis High School, replacing Nancy Velez who retired. He began his education career in 1993 and spent 10 years as a physical education teacher and guidance counselor in Hernando County. He also served students as a football coach and baseball coach. In 2003, Clark joined Lake County as an administrator and has worked at several schools over the past 14 years. For the last seven years, he has enjoyed being an administrator at Eustis High School. He has been the lead administrator at the Curtright Campus for four of the seven years. He looks forward to continuing to serve and support the outstanding faculty, staff, and students of Eustis High.
- Kelly Cousineau is the new principal at Lost Lake Elementary School. She replaces Susan Pegram, who retired. Cousineau has worked for Lake County Schools for the past twelve years. She enjoyed eight years in the classroom as a science teacher, AVID elective teacher, and AVID program coordinator. She was named 2013 Lake County Teacher of the Year, and in 2014, the AVID system her team implemented and continuously developed at East Ridge Middle School earned the distinction of AVID National Demonstration School. In June 2014, Kelly accepted a position with Lake County School’s Curriculum and Instruction department, serving as K-12 Science Program Specialist, AVID District Director, and later, the Innovative Professional Development Design Expert. Her dream of becoming a student-first school leader came true in 2015 when she accepted the position of assistant principal at Windy Hill Middle School.
- Abigail Crosby, former Assistant Principal at Eustis Middle School and Lake County’s Assistant Principal of the Year, has been promoted to principal of Eustis Middle School. She replaces Bill Miller, who retired. Previously, Crosby was the Assistant Principal at Windy Hill Middle and the AVID site coordinator and teacher at Umatilla High School and Oak Park Middle School. She seeks to guide students and all stakeholders to succeed while encouraging a contagious passion for learning.
- Kimberly Dianne Dwyer, a lifelong resident of Lake County and graduate of Lake County Schools, is the new principal at Umatilla Elementary School, replacing Debra Rogers, who retired. Dwyer started her career as the owner and director of two early childhood learning centers. She continued her educational career as an elementary teacher with the Lake County Boys Ranch and Treadway Elementary School. Since then, she has worked as a teacher, testing coordinator and Literacy Coach at Tavares High School, where she made community relationships a top priority.
- Brent Frazier is the new principal of Umatilla Middle School. A 17-year education professional, Frazier began his career in Myrtle Beach, S.C., as a middle school Science and Social Studies Teacher. In 2004, he relocated to Lake County where he continued teaching at Carver Middle School. Throughout his seven years there, he was a team PLC chair, Science Department Chair, AVID team member, Athletic Director, and Basketball Coach. In 2011, Frazier became the Instructional Dean at Leesburg Elementary School. Then just a year later, he became an Assistant Principal at East Ridge High School, where he has worked for the past seven years. He has always enjoyed “thinking outside of the box” and working with teachers to create innovative ways to meet the needs of every student.
- Thomas Gerds has been named principal of Umatilla High School. Gerds has worked in education for 13 years – as a Secondary Teacher, District K-12 Curriculum Specialist, High School Assistant Principal and Elementary School Principal. He has taught Advanced Placement and pre-International Baccalaureate courses. While working as a district curriculum specialist, he facilitated district professional development and curriculum implementation with a focus on Social Studies and English Language Arts. Gerds most recently served as an elementary school Principal in Clay County.
- Valda Niznik will serve as the new principal at Beverly Shores Elementary School. Niznik is a veteran administrator with 28 years of service in education. She has worked as a Classroom Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and Director of Elementary Education for Marion County Schools. Most recently, she was Principal of a Title I elementary school in Marion.
- Jamie Sidoruk has been named principal at East Ridge Middle School, filling the position Stephanie Mayuski left as she was promoted to Executive Regional Director. He began his career in education in Orange County where he served as a Teacher, Athletic Director, Administrative Dean and AVID Coordinator. He transitioned to Lake County as an Assistant Principal four years ago. As an Assistant Principal who oversees instruction, he helped East Ridge Middle School earn an “A” school grade for the 2016-2017 school year. Sidoruk was also instrumental in making East Ridge Middle School a “Site of Distinction” for AVID. This is a program that he firmly believes in and will continue to support as Principal.
- Corrie Voytko has been named the new principal of Eustis Elementary School, replacing Kay Sawchuk, who retired. Voytko began her educational journey as a teacher of gifted students. She has taught various grade levels at Title I and non-Title I schools. Voytko has a passion for working with students and families and has served as a migrant advocate. Currently, Voytko served as the Assistant Principal at Plantation Oaks Elementary in Clay County. She is honored to have been selected to serve alongside the faculty and staff at Eustis Elementary to build upon the school’s student first and family culture.
- Scott Voytko will serve as the next principal of Cypress Ridge Elementary, replacing Dale Delpit who retired. His career has been dedicated to improving student learning. He has worked in various roles including Classroom Teacher, Assistant Principal and Vice Principal. Most recently, he served four years as Principal at Grove Park Elementary School in Clay County. Voytko has a proven record of improving student achievement at Title I and non-Title 1 schools. He has experience and a passion for STEM, and under his leadership Grove Park became a 1-to-1 device school and was the first in his district to adopt a PITSCO STEM lab. He believes that building relationships with students, staff and the community is key to having a destination school and looks forward to building upon the many successes of Cypress Ridge.