Flagler Schools Superintendent James Tager has tapped Matanzas High School Principal Earl Johnson to become the District’s Executive Director of Leadership Development, filling the position vacated by Vernon Orndorff.
It was one of three appointments in Tager’s first week on the job, though it fills a key position that drew attention when Orndorff first applied to be superintendent, then took a job in Texas before the interview round. By appointing from within, Tager is signaling that he will look at Flagler’s ranks first in promoting administrators, before drawing from outside. He did likewise with two additional appointments.
Tager selected John Fanelli as principal of Buddy Taylor Middle School, essentially continuing Fanelli’s leadership development track that is likely to see him in a leadership role at a high school in a few years and, judging from similar trajectories in the past, to the district office.
It also means that the district is searching for new principals at Matanzas and Wadsworth.
At Buddy Taylor, Fanelli takes over for Nathan Lovelette, who begins his new position as director of the i3 New Tech Academy, the virtual school, on the campus of Flagler Palm Coast High School. “I fully believe in the vision of the New Tech Network and will continue to promote teaching that engages, culture that empowers, outcomes that matter and technology that enables,” Lovelette was quoted as saying in a release the district issued this morning, announcing the job changes. Lovelette’s new salary will be $87,000.
Johnson termed himself “blessed” the be selected for the leadership development post. “I know there is a great team ready to work with me as I transition into this new role. I am looking forward to this new chapter of my career,” he said. Johnson began his career in education in Volusia County, where he spent 26 years as a teacher and administrator. He came to Flagler Schools in 2015 to lead Matanzas High School. He was recently selected as a finalist for the State Principal of the Year. His salary in his new position will be $107,420.
Fanelli, a product of Flagler schools, has been principal of Wadsworth Elementary School for the past five years. Fanelli is a product of Flagler Schools and an alumni of Belle Terre Middle School (when the actual Buddy Taylor, namesake of the school, was principal). In 2015 he was named Flagler Schools Principal of the Year. “I’m a proud Eagle, coming home to nest,” Fanelli said of his new job, where he’ll earn a base salary of $91,648.
“Each of these educators has excelled where they were and I expect they will take that same passion and professionalism they exhibited in the prior positions and bring it to their new posts,” Tager said of his appointments.