The Indian River School Board has decided not to completely oust former Lord Baltimore Elementary School principal John Turssline and assistant principal Melissa Oates. Although the two were suddenly removed from their positions at the school on Jan. 15, both have been reassigned within the district.
Effective on Monday, Feb. 3, Turssline will become the first assistant principal ever at G.W. Carver Academy, an alternative school in Frankford. Meanwhile current Carver principal Walt Smith will become the district’s supervisor of alternative programs. Lesia Jones is swapping that position with Smith, to become head administrator at G.W. Carver.
Oates will remain an assistant principal, now at Southern Delaware School of the Arts (SDSA), where vice-principal Ann Marie Logullo had been prior to being moved to the same role at Lord Baltimore on Jan. 21.
The decisions were finalized at the Jan. 27 school board meeting. The board will interview candidates for Lord Baltimore’s principal on Feb. 11. The starting date for the position was advertised as Feb. 15.
Until then, the school’s administration will be in the hands of Gary Brittingham, who stepped out of retirement to become acting principal at L.B. on Jan. 21, after serving decades as IRSD assistant superintendent and East Millsboro Elementary principal.
Once a permanent principal is installed, IRSD spokesman Dave Maull said, the district will search for a permanent second-in-command for the school.
“These changes are not the result of any criminal activity or issues involving the safety and welfare of children,” IRSD Superintendent Susan Bunting has repeatedly emphasized.
The district would not comment further on the personnel matters involved.
Turssline was in his first year at Lord Baltimore, having served as Georgetown Middle School assistant principal since 2008.
Oates became L.B.’s assistant principal in 2010, after being a reading specialist Phillip C. Showell Elementary since 2004.