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Three schools get new principals

Collage of new principals - Gregg Dudley, Marlene Straughan and Kinetrai Kelley-Truitt  

TAVARES – Three Lake County schools will get new principals for the 2017-18 school year.

Gregg Dudley will lead Rimes Early Learning and Literacy Center. Mr. Dudley has 25 years of experience as a teacher and administrator and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Florida. The last six years, he has served Lake County as assistant principal at Fruitland Park Elementary School. He looks forward to working with the Rimes community to showcase its rich heritage and exemplary practices for early literacy instruction. He is also excited about working with the staff and community to expand the school’s programs and services.

Marlene Straughan is the new principal at Triangle Elementary School. A lifelong resident of Lake County, Ms. Straughan graduated from Umatilla High School in 1997 and later attended the police academy, where she earned dual certifications in law enforcement and corrections. She changed careers in 2008 when she began teaching at Mount Dora High School. Ms. Straughan attended Stetson University, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. She has spent the past four years as assistant principal at Mount Dora High School. Recently, the Florida Department of Education named her one of the top three finalists for Assistant Principal of the Year for the state of Florida. Ms. Straughan said she is thrilled to join the Manatee family at Triangle.

The Carver Middle School family welcomes Kinetrai Kelley-Truitt as their new principal. A native of Detroit, she moved to Lake County in 2005 and continued her career as an innovative learning specialist at Carver Middle School and Beverly Shores Elementary School before moving to East Ridge Middle School as an achievement liaison. In August 2010, she start her journey in administration as an assistant principal at Leesburg High School, and after three years assumed the role of assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at Carver Middle School. Ms. Kelley-Truitt has high expectations for her students and encourages them to show a positive attitude in their learning, show commitment in their studies and strive for achievement at all times. She has a specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova University. 

Mr. Dudley, Ms. Straughan and Ms. Kelley-Truitt each participated in a district screening interview and were then selected to interview before a school-based panel of teachers, staff, parents and community representatives. Committee members submitted their recommendation for the candidate they would like to serve as their school’s next leader.