AURORA — Two of Aurora’s three elementary schools will have new principals come August, but one of them will be a familiar face to district residents.
With the retirement of Miller/Craddock Principal Julie Troman, which was accepted by the Board of Education in February, the Board decided to hire separate principals for the two schools.
Maria Goodman, who was assistant principal at Leighton School this past year and had taught third-grade English and language arts at Leighton for 13 years, will head Miller, while Kim Menta will head Craddock.
The Board awarded Goodman a contract in March, and Menta was hired in April. Both received three-year contracts running from Aug. 1 to July 31, 2022.
"Because Craddock has substantially more students than Miller, we decided to hire Kim to work full-time there, whereas Maria will be in charge at Miller and will continue as assistant principal at Leighton," explained Superintendent Pat Ciccantelli.
Goodman earned her bachelor of arts degree from Kent State University, a master of education from KSU and a master of education in educational administration from American College of Education.
"Maria has been an outstanding teacher in our district, and we believe she will transition well into the principal’s role at Miller," said Ciccantelli.
"I am beyond grateful to continue to support the students, staff and families in this new capacity," said Goodman. "Over the past year, I have worked alongside Julie Troman, Mike Janatovich and the entire administrative team to support the vision and goals of Aurora schools.
"At Miller, it is humbling to welcome students and families into our preschool or kindergarten classrooms as this is their first experience with the district. I look forward to welcoming all of our new students for 2019-20."
Menta has been an elementary school principal in the West Geauga district since 2016, an elementary principal in Painesville from 2012 to 2016 and a middle and elementary level teacher in Perry from 2004 to 2012.
"Kim had outstanding references," said Ciccantelli. "Her philosophy about education aligns with our district’s and she is very passionate. We are happy to have her."
"I feel grateful to be joining such a spectacular team of educators at Craddock and within the school district," said Menta. "My predecessor was phenomenal. I have big shoes to fill and will work very hard to do so."
She said she has has known she wanted to be in education helping kids since she can remember. "I have very fond memories of growing up and playing school in my basement," she said. "To this day, school supplies are still one of my favorite things to buy.
"I have a strong belief that ‘all kids can’ and look forward to helping grow that with Aurora in many ways. I believe in taking time to build strong relationships with all stakeholders, and using those to collaborate most effectively to ensure the success and growth of staff and students."
She concluded that she is very excited for the new school year to arrive, and looks forward to meeting all of her new friends when they return in August.
Troman said she is appreciative of the time she spent in Aurora schools. "I have learned so much from my colleagues, the Aurora community and all of the children," she said.
"Being part of a district that is exceptionally progressive and deeply student-centered is a rare treat for any educator, and it has been a pleasure serving this community as the principal at Miller and Craddock.
"While I am not looking forward to the packing, I am excited to be closer to my family as I begin my search for another opportunity to be of service to public education. I know my experiences in Aurora will serve as a wonderful foundation for whatever my next adventure brings."
"Julie was an outstanding administrator and we were glad to have her for five years," said Ciccantelli. "She was a major asset for the school district, and we will miss her."
Three other administrators were given three-year contracts recently — Aurora High Assistant Principal Brian Brookhart, Athletic Director Paul Powers and Facilities/Maintenance Director Salvatore Arquilla.
Salaries for the new year of the five administrators who recently were awarded contracts are as follows: Goodman, $87,000; Menta, $97,000; Powers, $114,700; Brookhart, $92,300; and Arquilla, $92,200.
Ciccantelli said no other building administrator changes are planned for the 2019-20 year. Paul Milcetich will continue as AHS principal, Mark Abramovich and Staci Albanese as Harmon principal and assistant, and Mike Janatovich as Leighton principal.
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or email@example.com.