The administrative turnstyle within the St. Clair R-XIII School District rotated a couple more times this week as changes were announced in the management team at Edgar Murray Elementary School.
Superintendent Mike Murphy confirmed to The Missourian on Thursday that current Principal Kent Sherrow has resigned and that Assistant Principal Larrinda Witt had been promoted to take his place.
Both moves will take place at the end of the current academic year.
Witt interviewed for the position with Murphy and other administrators last Friday and was offered the job on Monday. Murray staff was told on Wednesday.
“It always has been a career goal of mine to be an elementary school principal,” the 47-year-old Witt told The Missourian on Thursday. “And I love being at the Murray. I’ve never wanted to go anywhere else, so getting the opportunity to reach that goal here is great.”
Witt has been the Murray assistant principal for three years. Prior to that, she taught fifth grade in the building for nine years.
“I’m really excited to be moving up to lead principal here,” Witt said. “I’m looking forward to keeping us moving forward with our successful progress this building has accomplished.”
Sherrow, 45, resigned to become principal at Hermann High School, his home town. He has commuted to St. Clair from there for seven years. He has been the Murray principal for three years, was the assistant principal during the three years before that and spent one year in the district as an instructional technology administrator.
“This is a very good school district,” Sherrow said of R-XIII. “We’re aggressively meeting the challenges of public education, and we’re ahead of the game in a lot of ways. This (Hermann High School) was just a good opportunity for me, and I didn’t think I should pass it up.”
The changes at Edgar Murray come on the heels of St. Clair High School Principal Kevin Hillman resigning, Assistant Principal Michael Hunter promoted to replace him and current St. Clair Junior High School Assistant Principal Jeff Hamlett taking over in the same job at SCHS.
The school district also is looking for an administrative intern for the high school that will serve in similar capacities to another assistant principal. That position will be reviewed annually based on need, Murphy said.
All of those earlier moves took place this year. Contracts in the St. Clair R-XIII School District expire on June 30, and the new contracts start on July 1.
Murphy said Witt’s educational experience both in and out of the district helped lead to her promotion.
“We felt like her 25 years in education is a benefit,” he said. “And her experience in the Murray building as an assistant principal and a teacher and her familiarity with staff also is a benefit. We’re confident she will continue to support our progress in that building, and we’re excited she has been given this opportunity.”
Witt graduated from Sullivan High School in 1984 after moving there from Texas when she was in the third grade. She earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from the University of Missouri in 1988, received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Maryville University in 1995 and a second master’s degree in elementary education from Southwest Baptist University in 2002. In 2004, she received her specialists degree in education administration from Southwest Baptist.
“I am what they call diploma rich,” Witt said.
Her education experience includes a stint in the Spring Bluff R-XV School District as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher from 1988 to 2001. She is a member of the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals, the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Community Teacher Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
“I feel our district is one of the best around,” Witt told The Missourian. “I believe we’re moving forward and preparing students with 21st century skills so they can be successful in college and their careers.”
She also had specific praise for Murray employees.
“I am so proud of our staff here,” she said. “I really am looking forward to continuing to work with them and help them grow. This is a very exciting opportunity for me.”