In an unusual school year, the Guthrie Public Schools needed to find three new principals for the start of a new year with two retirements and a resignation. Soon, a fourth principal will need to be hired.
The Guthrie Board of Education voted to approve the vacancies Monday night for the 2023-24 school year.
Dusty Throckmorton was named principal for Guthrie High School, Jeff Ball at Guthrie Upper Elementary School, and Lesley Cotton at Cotteral Elementary.
Ball currently serves as the Charter Oak Elementary principal so that position opens up for applicants.
“All three who will begin new roles in the district next year understand our community and the unique needs of our students,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson said in a statement.
Ball, who has been the only principal at Charter Oak since it opened in 2018, replaces Susan Davison who is retiring after 39 years in education and 13 years as principal at GUES.
A Guthrie native, Ball has spent his entire career of 27 years serving GPS in various administrative and teaching capacities. Prior to leading Charter Oak Elementary, he served for four years as Assistant Principal at GUES.
Throckmorton has been an assistant principal at GHS for the past eleven years.
He will assume the role after the resignation of Principal Chris LeGrande, who recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals.
Prior to joining the GPS staff, Throckmorton, a native of Marlow, served as a teacher and coach at Westville, Tulsa Memorial and Edmond Santa Fe High Schools. The 24-year veteran of education in Oklahoma was named Assistant Principal of the Year in 2017.
Cotton has most recently served as an Interventionist at Central Elementary where she assisted students to improve their reading skills. The Guthrie native will take over at Cotteral Elementary for Scot Graham who is retiring after 11 years with the district.
Cotton is in her 12th year in education, all of which has been with GPS. She served as Assistant Principal at Fogarty Elementary for the 2015-16 school year.
“Working with the three departing leaders has truly been an honor,” Simpson said about LeGrande, Graham, and Davison. “We have had possibly the most administrative stability of any district our size over the past ten years. During that time, we have worked to grow the leadership capacity of those within our district. Tonight, you see the fruits of that labor. All three who will begin new roles in the district next year understand our community and the unique needs of our students.”
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